Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world’s richest men and a member of the Saudi royal family, vowed Tuesday to give a Bentley luxury car to 100 pilots who served in Saudi-led airstrikes against Yemen.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense announced that “Operation Resolute Storm” succeeded late Tuesday. The bombing campaign involved a coalition of Arab governments targeted Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen, known as the Houthis.
Though falling short of their declared goal, the restoration of deposed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, authorities said that they had “eliminated all threats” posed by the group. (RELATED: Saudis ‘Eliminate Threat’ In Yemen, Launch Into New Military Mission)
In his Arabic-language tweet, Prince Alwaleed wrote, “I congratulate our leaders on the success of Operation Resolute Storm and the start of Operation Restoring Hope. To recognize the one hundred participating Saudi pilots, I am pleased to give them 100 Bentley automobiles.”
Alwaleed is one among hundreds of nephews to King Salman, the sitting ruler of Saudi Arabia. He made his fortune, which is estimated around $30 billion, through ownership of a massive investment firm called Kingdom Holding Group. The company owns significant stakes in enterprises including the Four Seasons hotel chain, Citigroup and News Corp.
Tuesday’s Bentley giveaway is not the first such gesture for Alwaleed, who gave 25 of the British cars to the members of the Saudi football league’s winning team in 2014.
Saudi military efforts in Yemen have been criticized for their haste and inaccuracy, killing hundreds of civilians in less than four weeks. While Saudi Arabia is by far the Arab world’s richest country, Yemen is the poorest country, suffering from desertification, scarce natural resources and decades of violence.
The cost of a luxury-brand Bentley typically begins at around $180,000.
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