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The New Arab

IS cuts fighters' salaries amid crippling air raids

The financial strain could be a result of intensified air raids [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 January, 2016

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IS militants will not be getting any year-end bonuses this January. On the contrary, in response to mounting military pressure the group has decided to slash its fighter's salaries.
The Islamic state [IS] group has announced plans to halve the monthly salaries of its members in Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said on Tuesday.

The monitoring group, which relies on a network of activists, medics, and fighters across Syria, published what it said was an IS circular announcing the pay cuts.

"Because of the exceptional circumstances that the Islamic State is going through, a decision was made to cut the salaries of mujahedeen by half," the Arabic-language statement read.

"No one is exempt from this decision no matter their position. Food will continue to be distributed twice a month as usual," it added.

The announcement begins with a Quranic verse about striving for God with one's wealth and life.

Sources in Raqqa have reported that IS militants are "disgruntled" by the pay cut and that some Syrian members of the group believe this could be because leaders want to give pay raises to foreign fighters.

IS has declared a self-styled "caliphate" across large parts of Iraq and Syria, imposing its harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

     
      The leaked memo [Syrian Observatory for Human Rights]

According to Observatory head Rami Abd al-Rahman, the salary cuts meant Syrian IS fighters would see their salaries drop to about $200 from $400 per month.

Foreign fighters, who were paid double the Syrian militants, would have their monthly income reduced to $400, Abd al-Rahman added.

The militant group strives to show that it operates a full-fledged state, with government institutions, hospitals, and schools.

In June, the group announced it was beginning to mint its own currency, the 'Islamic Dinar'.

The financial strain could be a result of intensified air raids on its oil infrastructure in Syria and Iraq.

IS uses millions of dollars in oil revenues to expand and manage vast areas under its control, home to around five million civilians.

A US-led coalition is conducting an air war on the group in both countries, and Russian warplanes are also targeting the militants in Syria.

Agencies contributed to this report

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