‘$100 for registered fighters’
October 23rd, 2012
[AFP]“…ALEPPO, Syria – After months of fighting without pay, Syrian rebels in Aleppo are receiving their first salaries, paid with money commanders say is at least in part provided by foreign states.
In Aleppo’s old city area, fighters gave their names to defected Syrian military officer Colonel Abdul Salam Humaidi, who searched through lists provided by rebel commanders before paying the men in crisp $100 bills.
The rebels made thumbprints in ink next to their names to indicate they had been paid.
As the fighters gathered, the crack of rifle fire could be heard from elsewhere in the old city, just one of many areas in Syria’s one-time commercial capital that have become battlegrounds between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to overthrow his regime.
“The revolutionary military councils… are undertaking to distribute monthly salaries to the fighters, especially on the front lines,” Humaidi told AFP.
All fighters are now paid $150 per month, but this may change in the future, with different salaries given to those who are married and those who are on the front lines, he said.
Humaidi said he “defected from the military after 30 years of service, because the regime is corrupt and sectarian.” He is now a financial official for the rebel Revolutionary Military Council.
He declined to say where the payroll cash was from, but rebel commanders in Aleppo told AFP it came from foreign assistance and from other supporters, though they differed on the specific countries involved.
“The Military Council (is) distributing the salaries, with Qatari support… of $150 per person registered for two months,” said Haji al-Bab, a commander in the Tawhid Brigade, adding that fighters who are not registered are not being paid…”
Categories: Arab Blogs