The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have – for the time being – withdrawn all its aircraft from the fight against the so-called Islamic State forces (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. The decision was already made shortly after a Jordanian pilot was captured last Decemer, but only became apparent after ISIS horrifyingly executed that same pilot by burning him alive, causing international outrage.
Although the UAE still indirectly supports Operation Inherent Resolve by providing airbases to other aircraft, no Emirates combat jet will actually take part in air strikes no more. The decision is a setback for the coalition against ISIS. However, Jordan said on 4 February it will revenge its pilot by doing the exact opposite of the UAE’s move: it will intensify operations against ISIS.
The UAE was amongst the first to join the fight, including the active involvement of the country’s first female pilot, Major Mariam Al-Mansouri flying one of the 79 Lockheed Martin F-16E/F Block 60 Desert Falcons of the UAE Air Force. The Emirates also have 68 Dassault Mirage 2000-9s.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An UAEAF F-16E Block 60 Desert Falcon taking off from JRB Forth Worth, Texas, USA, in 2008 (Image David Raykovitz)