DAMASCUS, Syria

The Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad on Sunday issued a decree to increase by 50% public sector salaries as of August, according to the official SANA news agency.

Assad also raised public sector and military pensions by 40%, SANA said.

The decree also sets the minimum wage at 71,515 Syrian liras ($57), up from 47,000 liras ($37).

In April, the Syrian government devaluated the local currency after the lira hit record low.

At the start of the country’s civil war in 2011, the local currency traded at 50 liras against the US dollar. Now, the dollar is worth 3,215 liras in the black market.

Syria has been ravaged by civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN estimates.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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