Hard Times Hit ISIS: Fighters' Wages Cut in Half
Campaigns targeting caliphate's revenues are apparently working
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 5:03 AM CST
This undated file image shows Islamic State fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria.   (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

(Newser) – Islamic State militants have seen their monthly salaries cut in half down to $400 for foreign fighters and $200 for those in Syria, according to leaked documents out of Raqqa. The internal government documents were released in November or December, reports Time. "Because of the exceptional circumstances that the Islamic State is passing through, a decision was taken to cut the salaries of the mujahedeen in half," they read, per the Guardian. "No one will be exempt from this decision no matter his position, but the distribution of food assistance will continue twice a month as usual."

The group doesn't explain the "exceptional circumstances," but experts cite bombing campaigns targeting the group's oil business. Low oil prices may also be a factor. According to the State Department, ISIS now brings in just a fraction of the $40 million a month it made from oil early last year, reports CNN. The slashed wages are still above or level with the minimum wage for public sector employees in Syria, who were paid between $176 and $266 a month in 2011. Experts believe the healthy wages were key for the caliphate's recruiting purposes. ISIS fighters also received a $50 stipend for wives and $25 for each child.