A senior United Arab Emirates diplomat says the Gulf federation's first female air force pilot helped carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants earlier this week.

The Emirati embassy in Washington said on its official Twitter feed on Thursday that Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba confirmed the F-16 pilot's role.

Rumors had swirled on social media that Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri was involved in the airstrikes, but Emirati officials had not previously confirmed that was the case.

The government-owned newspaper The National reported in a June profile that al-Mansouri was born in Abu Dhabi and graduated from Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007.

The Gulf federation is one of five Arab countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition carrying out the airstrikes in Syria.