President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of the military dog that helped pursue ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and became injured by the terrorist’s suicide blast.
“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 afternoon.
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
Reports earlier on Monday said that the dog had chased Baghdadi into a tunnel beneath his compound and cornered him. After Baghdadi detonated the blast, killing himself and his three children, the dog suffered injuries.
“Our canine, as they call – I call it a dog, a beautiful dog, a talented dog – was injured and brought back,” Trump said on Sunday.
The dog was among multiple dogs who flew into the area with special forces personnel on eight helicopters.
U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Pentagon briefing on Monday that the dog was recovering and returned to duty.
The military dog injured during the U.S. operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has returned to duty, says U.S. Army General Mark Milley https://t.co/HeRYkcZLwk pic.twitter.com/5xIouH3lYZ
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 28, 2019
“We’re not releasing the name of the dog right now. The dog is still in theater,” Milley said, referring to the dog’s continuing duties. “The dog, the canine, the military working dog, performed a tremendous service, as they all do, in a variety of situations.”
Milley added that the dog was “slightly wounded and fully recovering” but had “returned to duty, with its handler.”
He also stressed that the dog’s identity would remain a secret to protect it, as is typical for special forces personnel.
“It’s a classified unit and (we’re) protecting the dog’s identity,” he said.
To the soldiers who work alongside these highly trained military dogs, they are no different than a member of the team
“The dog is a war veteran and a valued member of the team,” an active duty Delta Force soldier anonymously told the Washington Examiner.
“The injury to the dog is an injury to one of us. These dogs are a special breed of courageous,” the soldier added.
The dog appears to be a Belgian Malnois, a breed similar to the German Shepherd and frequently used in military operations, including the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.