Wounded Syrians to be flown to Germany for care

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A specially equipped German military aircraft will head to Jordan on Monday to pick up 36 Syrians who were seriously wounded in the conflict in their country and fly them to Germany for treatment, the foreign ministry said.

The wounded Syrians will receive care at four army hospitals including facilities in Berlin and Hamburg, a ministry spokesman said.

“We are deeply affected by the thousands of dead and the still bigger number of wounded which the terrible civil war in Syria has claimed up to now,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

“We want to enable a quick and as complete as possible recovery here in Germany for some of the worst injured victims of the war with the relief action now beginning.”

Syrian opposition chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib had requested the help for the patients currently hospitalized in Jordan.

“With this step we are contributing to political support for the national coalition of Syrian opposition which is developing more and more for Syrians into a visible, credible alternative to the Assad regime,” Westerwelle said.

A ministry spokesman said Germany might organize similar assistance in future but no further flights were planned as yet.

Last month, Germany said it was prepared to take in another 5,000 Syrian refugees in the coming months, which would bring the total to about 13,000 since the start of 2012.

The conflict in Syria, now in its third year, has claimed some 70,000 lives, according to the United Nations.