Assad decrees 50 percent salary hike

On Sunday the price of bread in Syria doubled and the cost of diesel fuel nearly tripled as the Assad regime confronted a cash crisis caused by 10 years of civil war and Western sanctions.

Damascus has repeatedly raised fuel prices in recent years to tackle the financial crunch, and the latest increases follow a 25 percent rise in the price of gasoline last week.

To soften the blow, President Bashar Assad issued a decree increasing public sector salaries by 50 percent and setting the minimum wage at 71,515 Syrian pounds per month ($28 at the official rate), up from 47,000 pounds ($18).

He also raised public sector and military pensions by 40 percent.