DAMASCUS: A total of 6,300 rebel fighters have joined the so-called Islamic State (IS) militant group last month alone, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday.
The Observatory said 6,300 fighters had joined the training camps of that al-Qaida breakaway group in Syria’s northern provinces of al-Raqqa and Aleppo.
Among them, 5,000 recruits are Syrians, the Observatory said, adding that the rest are newly-recruited fighters.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said that 1,300 fighters are Arab and foreign nationals, adding that a majority of them entered Syria from Turkey.
It said that the IS pays the single Syrian fighter USD 400 a month, while for married militants, their kids and spouses also get paid. As for fighters from overseas, they have a monthly pay of eight hundred dollars.
The Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has recently proclaimed it established an ” Islamic Caliphate” in parts of Syria and Iraq, threatening the political geography of the region.
The group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is said to have command over tens of thousands of fighters, said their goal is to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria to fight the Shiite-led Iraqi central government and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose top ranks are from the Alawite minority, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam. The UN Security Council has recently adopted a resolution to chock off the flow of fund and fighters to the militant group. PNA