The UAE’s 1st female fighter pilot strikes ISIS
The UAE embassy in Washington said on Thursday that Amb. Yousef al-Otaiba confirmed the F-16 pilot's role
A senior United Arab Emirates diplomat confirmed on Thursday the country’s first female air force pilot helped carry out airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants earlier this week.
The Emirati embassy in Washington said on its official Twitter feed on Thursday that Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba confirmed the F-16 pilot's role.
Read also: Saudi releases pictures of pilots who took part in strikes against ISIS
Rumors had swirled on social media that Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri was involved in the airstrikes, but Emirati officials had not previously confirmed that was the case, the Associated Press reported.
Amb. Al #Otaiba confirms #UAE's first female #F16 fighter pilot lead air strike missions on #ISIS pic.twitter.com/shuNNvix2S— UAE Embassy in US (@UAEEmbassyUS) September 25, 2014
The government-owned newspaper The National reported in a June profile that al-Mansouri was born in Abu Dhabi and graduated from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007.
In a Thursday interview on the UAE’s commitment in combating ISIS and fighting extremism on the live-broadcast American television show Morning Joe, a weekday morning talk show on MSNBC, the UAE envoy said: “We will bring whatever it takes to defeat ISIS and other forms of extremism.”
On the same day, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that 10 warplanes from Saudi Arabia and the UAE played the leading role in the latest round of air strikes in Syria, according to Agence France-Presse.
The air strikes on Wednesday pounded modular oil refineries in eastern Syria, in an effort to choke off ISIS finances.
One U.S. official told Reuters that such refineries could produce about $2 million a day in oil revenue.
The UAE is one of five Arab countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition carrying out the airstrikes in Syria.
Striking a balance: Crushing ISIS vs. boosting AssadOn the ground, it would be difficult to deny that strikes against factions battling Assad without providing a boost to the FSA Middle East
Saudi releases pictures of pilots who took part in strikes against ISISOne of the pilots involved in the raids is a son of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz himself Middle East
Belgium to offer fighter jets for ISIS strikesThe Belgian parliament must still approve the move, which follows a formal request from Washington on Tuesday Middle East
Lack of trust keeps Iran, U.S. away from coalitionIran is convinced the United States wants to use the fight against ISIS as a pretext to strike Assad Analysis
Activists: ISIS quits Syria bases as U.S. poised to strikeAll of ISIS’s known positions in Eshara, a town about 60 kilometres (45 miles) east of Deir Ezzor’s provincial capital, had been “shut down” Middle East
FBI: U.S. airstrikes boost ISIS supportFBI says more people have joined ISIS camps after Obama signaled air strikes against the group could expand Middle East
Coalition should strike ISIS in Syria also: Iraq PMAbadi rejetcs any possible plans for U.S. troops in Iraq as part of anti-ISIS push Middle East