BERLIN (AP) — Three dozen seriously wounded Syrians were being flown to Germany for treatment in military hospitals Monday at the request of the Syrian opposition, German authorities said.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle refused to say whether the patients were civilians or opposition fighters engaged in the country’s brutal civil war, although Syrian opposition leaders did help choose who would be sent for care.

“I’m not sure if each person was asked how they were injured,” Westerwelle told reporters after a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.

He said that in the end “medical criteria” were used to decide who would receive care in Germany.

The 36 injured patients have received only provisional care in Jordan and are being flown in on German military transports Monday. They’ll be treated at hospitals in Berlin, Hamburg, Ulm and Westerstede.

Top Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib had requested the medical care from Germany in a personal appeal to Westerwelle.

Further transports of injured Syrians are expected in the future.

The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 and has left more than 70,000 people dead, according to the United Nations.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.