Saudi Prince: “pleased to present 100 bomber pilots with Bentley’s”

Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted an unexpected message for the 100 fighter pilots involved in airstrikes against Yemen – each would be awarded a Bentley. The tweet, which was later deleted, sparked anger online.

Owner of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding, billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (Reuters / Fayez Nureldine)

“I congratulate our wise leaders on the victory of Operation Decisive Storm and the beginning of Operation Restoring Hope,” bin Talal appeared to tweet on Tuesday. It followed an announcement of a new phase in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

“To recognize the one hundred participating Saudi pilots I am pleased to present them with 100 Bentley cars,” he said, according to screenshots of the message

But the fighter pilots couldn’t allow themselves to get too excited, because the tweet was later deleted without explanation. Some Saudi Arabian reports suggest the prince’s account was hacked, though this has not been confirmed.

The Twittersphere was unsurprisingly full of opinions on the tweet, with many reminding of the human cost of the operation in Yemen and disgusted that the loss of lives could be rewarded with luxury cars.

At least 944 people were killed and 3,487 wounded in Operation Decisive Storm, according to the World Health Organization.

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