Source

FOUR Bahraini volunteers will risk their lives by entering Syria to feed starving children in the war-torn country.


They launched a campaign, Jihaduna Khobz (Our Jihad is Bread), last month to ensure Syrians have basic food, including bread, following the closure of main bakeries in several cities due to a shortage of flour.


The members of the Bahraini Association for the Support of the Syrian Revolution plan to travel to Damascus on Thursday despite potential risks of Western intervention.


A United Nations report issued last week confirmed nerve agent sarin was used in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on August 21, but did not assign blame.


The UK, US and France said it confirmed Syria's government was behind it rather than rebels.


However, the stark disagreement over blame may complicate discussions among veto-holding Security Council members - Russia, China, the US, UK and France - over a Western-drafted resolution to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.


The Bahraini volunteers refused to comment about their trip, but association spokesman Emad Al Jarrah told the GDN the group will be accompanied by a photographer and a Syrian co-ordinator, who will provide them with necessary equipment, including bulletproof vests.


"The plan is to have the men travel to Syria through a neighbouring country," he said.


"They will be armed with money to buy flour and other equipment to help bakeries operate again.


"They will be visiting less troubled areas such as Dair Al Zoor where they will help bakeries get back to business."


Mr Al Jarrah revealed the association collected around BD10,000, which will go towards restarting operations at 20 bakeries.


"The money will help them buy equipment or hire workers," he said.


"Bread is considered one of the main food sources for Syrians and we wanted to help them with that."


The association has already delivered aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, where three truckloads of food supplies were distributed to needy family in Amman, Irbid and Al Mafraq.


The aid, part of the association's Syrian Iftar campaign, consisted of boxes filled with BD20 worth of food supplies each, including sugar, cooking oil and beans.


Association members, aged between 16 and 30, also collected cash donations that were used to buy more supplies in Jordan.


It was the second time the group helped the refugees as they earlier donated food, medicines and money.


Around 144,000 refugees are said to be living in the Za'atari Camp, having fled Syria since violence broke out in 2011.


The UN has already launched what it says is the biggest emergency appeal in history to cope with the crisis, calling for $5 billion in aid before the end of the year.


Russia has been Assad's most powerful backer during the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people since 2011, delivering weapons and - with China - blocking Western efforts to use the Security Council's clout to pressure his government.


The draft council resolution is intended to support a US-Russian deal calling for Syria to account for its chemical weapons within a week and for their destruction by mid-2014.


The deal halted efforts by US President Barack Obama to win congressional approval for military action to punish Assad for the gas attack, which America says killed more than 1,400 people in rebel-held areas.