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“Boobs on the ground”: Fox News presenters mock female pilot who led Isis bombing mission

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A female bomber pilot was the subject of a series of petty sexist jibes on US cable channel Fox News this week, after it was revealed she led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria.

Presenter Kimberly Guilfoyle was trying to pay tribute to Major Mariam Al Mansouri, the UAE's first female Emirati air-force pilot, in a segment from the discussion show The Five on Fox News this Wednesday.

"Hey, Isis, you were bombed by a woman," Guilfoyle began. "Very exciting, a woman doing this … I hope that hurt extra bad because in some Arab countries women can’t even drive.

"Major Mariam Al Mansouri is who did this. Remarkable, very excited. I wish it was an American pilot. I’ll take a woman doing this any day to them."

She noted the Major's nickname was "Lady Liberty".

But then co-host Greg Gutfeld interupted Guilfoyle, quipping, "The problem is after she bombed it she couldn’t park it".

Rising to the bait, his colleague Eric Bolling joined in, saying, "Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no?"

A clearly mortified Guilfoyle put her head in her hands. "Oh my God... did you really have ruin my thing?" she remarked.

Major Mariam Al Mansouri

Al Mansouri, 35, wanted to serve as part of the Emirati Armed Forces ever since she was a teenager.

But as an adult, she had to spend several years working at General Command before the UAE finally relaxed its ban on women joining the military service.

She became the UAE's first female Emirati airforce pilot in 2007 and is now a veteran squadron commander working with the F-16 fighter jet.

She told the UAE newspaper The National earlier this year that she had received no special treatment because of her gender and gained widespread support from her command, her trainers and her colleagues.

She advised women wanting to follow a similar career path to "be prepared as it is a time and effort-consuming field that requires a great deal of passion".

US president Barack Obama has issued a call to arms against Isis' "network of death", warning militants from the group to "leave the battlefield while they can".

Al Mansouri was one of a number of pilots taking part in strikes on Isis targets inside Syria on Monday evening. She led the UAE arm of a joint mission between the U.S. and five Arab states - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

We think it's a depressing indictment when a woman of her stature has worked so hard to overcome barriers and get where she is - only to cut down by thoughtless, petty and juvenile comments such as those on Fox News this week.

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