File - A man works at a makeshift oil refinery site in al-Mansoura village in Raqqa's countryside, in this file picture taken May 5, 2013. IREUTERS/Hamid Khatib
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In the Syrian stronghold of ISIS, everything is black, activists say, from the head covering for both men and women to passports.Asked what color ISIS passports are, he laughed: "Black".ISIS members parade on the streets with their weapons – usually Kalashnikovs assault rifles or pistols – while nonmembers are not allowed to own arms, he told AFP via the Internet. They exert control over every aspect of life, with men and women controlled by separate security forces. For the group's jihadists, however, life in ISIS-controlled parts of Syria is good, not least because of the benefits they get.The lowest-level ISIS cadres are paid $300 a month, said Raqqa-based activist Furat al-Wafaa, using a pseudonym to protect his identity. At the same time, ISIS collects taxes from the population.Shopkeepers impoverished by a nearly four-year war pay some $60 a month in tax to ISIS, he said.Deir al-Zor's Furati, meanwhile, likened ISIS to a settler movement that has displaced the local population. Furati said employees belonging to President Bashar Assad's minority Alawite sect had long fled when ISIS arrived in Deir al-Zor and other employees have been kept on.
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