Hero Dog Returns to Duty After Helping Take Down ISIS Leader
Trump releases a picture of the 'wonderful dog' injured during al-Baghdadi mission
A hero dog, who was a key member of the US forces team that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend, has returned to duty after being injured in a blast during the dangerous mission.
President Donald Trump released a photo honoring the "wonderful dog" on Monday, saying he did a "great job" in taking down the Islamic State leader.
"We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!" Trump tweeted Monday evening.
The brave K-9 fighter is a Belgian Malinois whose name is believed to be Conan, Defense Department officials reportedly told Newsweek.
Military officials have yet to officially release the pup's name, saying it was classified as they are "protecting the dog's identity."
Conan was at the center of the action on Saturday when Al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three children, after being cornered by U.S forces in a dead-end underground tunnel in his Syrian compound.
According to the Daily Mail, it was that blast that apparently wounded the heroic dog.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mike Milley, said the dog "performed a tremendous service" and is now recovering.
The dog has since returned to duty at an undisclosed location.
Trump first revealed news of the dog's injuries and heroic efforts when he revealed details of the raid on Sunday.
"Our 'K-9,' as they call it," Trump said.
"I call it a dog. A beautiful dog - a talented dog - was injured and brought back."
In 2011, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo was used in the operation to capture and kill Osama bin Laden.
The Malinois breed is similar to German Shepherds but smaller.
The U.S. military commonly uses the Belgian Malinois to guide and protect troops, search out enemy forces and look for explosives.
The breed is prized by the military for its intelligence and ability to be aggressive on command.
We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi! pic.twitter.com/PDMx9nZWvw— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019
The daring raid on the compound where Baghdadi was hiding in Syria was the culmination of years of steady intelligence-gathering work - and 48 hours of hurry-up planning once Washington got word on where he would be.
Trump watched the raid in real-time from the Situation Room via a video link as troops blasted into the hideout and sent the most-wanted militant running the last steps of his life.
Trump said soldiers blasted a hole in the side of a building because they feared the entrance might have been booby-trapped.
Baghdadi fled into a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that snaked through the compound.
The stout, bearded militant leader wore a suicide vest and dragged along three children as he fled from the American troops.
Trump, happy to play up the drama, said that as U.S. troops and their dogs closed in, the militant went "whimpering and crying and screaming all the way" to his death.
"He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down," Trump said.
"He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children."