Meet the Woman Leading The Fight Against ISIS
A source says that the UAE's first female fighter pilot, Mariam al-Mansouri, has partaken in the airstrikes that were launched against ISIS militants on Tuesday.
The UAE's first female pilot has led air strikes targetting Islamic State militants in Syria, sources claim.
Major Mariam al-Mansouri, 35, "led the squadron" of UAE fighter jets that participated in raids Tuesday against the extremists, an Emirati source familiar with the matter told AFP. However the UAE did not confirm officially that a woman was among the pilots that conducted the raids.
Mansouri is the first female UAE pilot of a fighter jet. She graduated from Abu Dhabi's Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007 and is veteran pilot of F-16 warplanes.
Mansouri's participation in the raid stirred a debate on social media networks, with supporters posting her picture on Twitter and commending her service.
"She is taking part in crushing the dens of Daesh," wrote one woman on Twitter.
However, angry Islamist sympathisers slammed Mansouri's "criminal" act. The UAE's Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States discussed the UAE’s commitment in combating ISIL and fighting extremism on the live-broadcast American television show Morning Joe, a weekday morning talk show on MSNBC.
During the show, Al Otaiba said: “We will bring whatever it takes to defeat ISIS and other forms of extremism.”
A graduate of Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007, the Major is now a veteran operations pilot, working with F-16 Block 60 aircraft.