President Trump tweeted a “declassified” photo of the military dog that was wounded in the raid in Syria that led to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday, saying the canine did a “GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS.”
When announcing al-Baghdadi’s death on Sunday, President Trump hailed the “beautiful” and “talented” dog for its heroism, noting that no U.S. service members were hurt or killed in the operation. White the dog was hurt in the operation, his injuries were not life threatening.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley confirmed the dog is with its handler, recovering from injuries suffered during the Saturday evening raid.
“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!” the president said Monday on Twitter, just hours after Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the name, image, and details of the dog would continue to be withheld as the dog was still in active service.
“We’re not releasing the name of the dog right now. The dog is still in theater,” Milley said to reporters from the Pentagon. “The dog, the K9, the military working dog performed a tremendous service as they all do in a variety of situations. [It’s] slightly wounded and fully recovering, but the dog is still in theater, returned to duty, with its handler. So, we’re not going to release just yet photos or names of dogs or anything else.”
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 dog, a Belgian Malinois, was sent into a tunnel to subdue al-Baghdadi during the early-morning raid on a compound in Syria. Al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three children and wounding the dog.
James LaPorta, a staff writer for Newsweek, reported that the dog’s name is Conan.
Multiple Defense Department sources have told me the dog’s name is Conan. https://t.co/efDmAsCbXb
— James LaPorta (@JimLaPorta) October 28, 2019
Belgian Malinois are known for their hard work and intelligence and widely used by the military and law enforcement. A Malinois named Cairo famously accompanied U.S. commandos on the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The dogs that are used by special operations forces are hand-picked, just like their human teammates. They are considered essential members of their teams, providing a variety of functions including subduing adversaries and bomb detection.