Syria to hike pay of frontline soldiers with bonus

Syria's prime minister said on Monday the government would give a monthly bonus of 10,000 Syrian pounds ($37) to soldiers fighting on the frontlines, a significant pay rise that could boost morale after a series of setbacks for the armed forces.
The army and allied militia have lost large areas of land in the last two months to insurgents including the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and Islamic State, which has seized the central ancient city of Palmyra.
Analysts and diplomats tracking Syria say the army is overstretched and needs more recruits to fight in battles on several fronts in the conflict.
The bonus pay starts at the beginning of next month and will go to soldiers serving on battlefronts, Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki told a parliament session broadcast on state television. This works out at around $37 at official rates and several dollars less on the black market.