Tags: woman | pilot | led | airstrikes

UAE: Woman Pilot Led Our Airstrike Mission

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 10:03 AM

The UAE airstrike mission in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) flew their planes during Monday evening's attacks under the leadership of a female pilot, UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I can officially confirm that the UAE strike mission on Monday night was led by female fighter pilot Mariam Al Mansouri. She is fully qualified, highly trained, combat-ready pilot, and she led the mission," Al Otaiba said Thursday.

Al Mansouri was the first female pilot of the UAE Air Force, The National reported.

She is 35 years old with an undergraduate degree in English, and was among the first women to joint the UAE Air Force Academy when membership became open to females, graduating in 2008.

Al Otaiba said U.S. tanker pilots were surprised when they heard a female voice during Monday's mission and "actually paused for about 20 seconds." While some countries in the region tended to be "a little more conservative," Al Otaiba said the UAE took a more "open minded, pragmatic view" to the status of women, possibly due to their "open minded, young leadership."

Al Mansouri was representative of the greater debate about the fight against ISIS, as it showed the choices people in the region could have for their culture, Al Otaiba explained.

"The whole campaign and coalition on ISIS, and extremists in general, boils down to ultimately this — Do you want a model or a society that allows women to become ministers in government, female fighter pilots, business executives, artists? Or, do you want a society where, if a woman doesn't cover up in public, she's beaten or she's lashed or she's raped? This is ultimately what this breaks down to," he said.

The UAE was one of five Arab states that joined with the U.S. in Monday's airstrikes. Al Otaiba predicted more Arab states would join the battle against ISIS.

"I don't think it's a question of which, or what, Arab countries will step up. We will. But, you can't do this without us, and we can't do this without you," he said.

Al Otaiba said moderate Muslims needed to speak up about combating radical Islamists.
"I've heard a lot of comments. One of them was, there is no such thing as moderate Islam. There is no such thing as moderate Muslims. You know what? You're looking at one," he said. "We need to do more. We need to say more."



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The UAE airstrike mission in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) flew their planes during Monday evening's attacks under the leadership of a female pilot, UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba told MSNBC's Morning Joe. I can officially confirm...
woman, pilot, led, airstrikes
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2014-03-25
Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 10:03 AM
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