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Syrian PM urges youth to fulfill their military obligation, promises higher pay for troops

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, center front, speaks during a parliament session in Damascus, Syria, Monday, June 8, 2015. Al-Halqi called on young Syrians Monday to fulfill their mandatory military service obligation, promising better pay for troops on the front lines as well as one meal of hot food a day. (SANA via AP)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, center front, speaks during a parliament session in Damascus, Syria, Monday, June 8, 2015. Al-Halqi called on young Syrians Monday to fulfill their mandatory military service obligation, promising better pay for troops on the front lines as well as one meal of hot food a day. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's prime minister has called on young Syrians to fulfill their mandatory military service obligation, promising better pay for troops on the front lines.

Wael al-Halqi told a parliament session on Monday: "Today we must unite more than ever in backing our army."

His comments come after Syrian troops suffered major defeats against insurgents and Muslim militants in recent weeks.

The government recently lost the northern city of Idlib as well as the historic central town of Palmyra.

Al-Halqi said that losing a city or an area does not mean "losing the war."

He added that at the orders of President Bashar Assad, a plan is being considered that would pay an extra 10,000 Syrian pounds ($35) per month for every soldier fighting on the front lines, starting in July.