ISIS cut the salaries of their fighters by 50%, resulting in the loss of several hundreds of dollars per month, according to documents from the terrorist organization. The group cited growing economic and military pressures in Syria and Iraq as the reasoning for halving wages.
“On account of the exceptional circumstances the Islamic State is facing, it has been decided to reduce the salaries that are paid to all mujahideen by half,” according to the document that was translated and posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, a Jihad intelligence research fellow at the Middle East Forum think tank. ”It is not allowed for anyone to be exempted from this decision, whatever his position.”
ISIS, also known as ISIL and the Islamic State, likely paid their militants a few hundred dollars a month before the pay cut, al-Tamimi told Vocativ. He also said military operations cost ISIS tens of millions of dollars a month and make up two-thirds of the network’s operating budget.
Chopping wages is one of the many setbacks the terrorist organization has faced recently. On Jan. 19, the group said its infamous executioner, known as Jihadi John, was killed in U.S. airstrike. British national Mohammed Emwazi gained notoriety after appearing in a 2014 video where he beheaded American journalist James Foley.
American airstrikes have also killed 10 senior ISIS leaders and wiped out 90% of the group’s oil supply, according to December announcements from the Pentagon and a U.S. military spokesman in two separate events. ISIS was making $500 million a year from oil, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury officials in December 2015.
Additionally, airstrikes eliminated a cash stockpile in Mosul, Iraq, according to video released from the Defense Department on Jan. 15. The exact amount of money destroyed is unknown, but U.S. officials told CNN it was millions.
The average daily cost of fighting ISIS is $11 million, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. That includes damaging and destroying Islamic State targets like tanks, buildings and staging areas.
The group has lost 40% of the territory they held in Iraq and 20% in Syria, according to a press briefing from Jan. 5.
We have retaken 40% of territory that ISIL once held. Enemy is weaker and on defensive. They have not gained one inch in Iraq since May.
— COL Steve Warren (@OIRSpox) 5 января 2016