Saudi prince and first woman pilot join in blitz
Saudi Arabia has offered a royal seal of approval to the US-led fight against the Islamic State group, sending its top pilot prince on bombing runs over Syria.
Earlier this week, the Saudi government released photos of Prince Khaled bin Salman smiling shyly from the cockpit of his F15 fighter jet.
The prince was said to have piloted one of four planes as jets from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined American aircraft on bombing runs over Syria.
Saudi Arabia's decision to publicise Prince Khaled's role is likely two-fold, reassuring the west of the Kingdom's firm stance against extremist groups and warning Saudi citizens that the Islamic State (Isil) is an enemy of the Crown.
Prince Khaled is the son of prime minister, defence minister and heir to the Saudi throne Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Meanwhile, Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to the United States, confirmed yesterday that the country's first female fighter pilot, Major Mariam Al Mansouri (35) took part in her own kingdom's military action. Ms Mansouri is a veteran F-16 pilot.