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In Syria, Iran and its militias seek to consolidate support


While the Syrian army in Deir al-Zour pays a monthly salary of 27,000 Syrian pounds, about $7.50, the Iranian-backed militias offer more than double that, with even higher pay in places like Bukamal city on the Iraqi border, he said. Abu Khadija, now 26, said he joined a brigade made up of 100 Syrians who largely guard Iranian warehouses in Deir al-Zour. They were assigned rotations of 15 days on duty and 15 days off. By contrast, the Syrian army often sends soldiers far from home for at least two months at a time, with home leaves of only five days, he said.

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