The Syrian military has declared that it has taken full control of all areas around the capital, Damascus, for the first time in six years. Damascus and its surrounding are completely secure, according to state television. The announcement came after troops cleared Islamic State (IS) militants from the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and the Hajar al-Aswad district.

Meanwhile, Soran security yesterday said they had confiscated 36kgs of heroin smuggled into the Kurdistan Region from a neighboring country. The drugs came through Turkey into the Kurdistan Region. The major drug bust took place in Soran after Peshmerga forces tipped off local security.

Lastly, Iraq’s Football Federation says it would like to host the upcoming West Asian Football Federation Championship in Basra. Iraq’s football authorities stated they are ready to host the championship, which is scheduled for November, in the country’s southern oil city of Basra. This would be the first championship game in almost 30 years.