Donald Trump lid off dog that got alBaghdadi
US President Donald Trump has shared a picture of the “wonderful” service dog that was injured during the secret raid that led to the death of Islamic State founder and chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria, after top Pentagon officials declined to provide any details of the canine to “protect its identity”.
“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 on Monday. The President tweeted the photo of a Belgian Malinois but did not reveal the name and other details of the service dog.
The anonymous dog became famous overnight after it cornered al-Baghdadi in a dead-end tunnel during the raid on Saturday.
Earlier, the Pentagon had said it was not making public the name of the US service dog injured in the raid in northwest Syria.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, had said on Monday: “The K-9, the military working dog, performed a tremendous service, as they all do in a variety of situations. It is slightly wounded and fully recovering.”
“But the dog is still in theatre, returned to duty with its handler. So we’re not going to release photos or names of dogs or anything else just yet. It’s a classified unit,” the top American general said at a joint news conference with secretary of defence Mark Esper.
“Protecting his identity,” Esper chipped in. “We’re protecting the dog’s identity,” Milley echoed.
A day earlier, Trump had said that when the American troops landed in eight helicopters along with specially trained dogs, they also had with them a robot, the first of its kind, to go after the IS leader inside the tunnel.
Being chased by dogs towards the dead end of the tunnel, al-Baghdadi killed himself by blowing up his powerful suicide vest, and so the robot was not used, the President had told reporters at the White House.
“Nobody was even hurt. Our ‘K-9’ as they call, I call it a dog, a beautiful dog. A talented dog was injured and brought back,” Trump said in response to a question on Sunday.
K9s of Valour, a non-profit organisation dedicated to keeping police K9 officers safe by donating lifesaving equipment, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the US Special Forces dog injured on Saturday during the raid on an IS terrorist’s compound.”
The Belgian Malinois, a special breed commonly used by the military and police, is preferred for its compact size, making it ideal for fast-roping or jumping out of aircraft. Handlers often refer to Belgian Malinois dogs as “Maligators” or “hair missiles” because of their speed and strong jaws.