Politics

Trump releases photo of hero dog injured in al-Baghdadi raid

By Dareh Gregorian and Mosheh Gains
The DoD have declassified a photo of the dog who was injured in the operation that resulted in the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad.
Source: Department of Defense

Who's a good dog? The military won't say, but here's the first look at the hero pooch.

The dog that was injured in the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is back with his handler and recuperating from his injuries, Pentagon officials said.

President Donald Trump released a photo of the pup later Monday. On Sunday, he hailed the dog's actions while describing the Saturday evening raid — but did not reveal any specifics about the courageous canine's identity. Two U.S. officials told NBC News that the breed of the dog is a Belgian Malinois.

"We are not releasing the name of the dog right now," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark A. Milley, told reporters at a briefing Monday. "We're protecting his identity."

The dog was chasing al-Baghdadi down a dead end tunnel when the ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children.

The dog suffered unspecified injuries.

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"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."

Trump, the first president not to have a pet in the White House in more than a century, has repeatedly used "dog" as a putdown, including in his remarks Sunday. Al-Baghdadi, he said, "died like a dog. He died like a coward."

Milley said the unidentified animal was "slightly wounded and fully recovering," and ready to go back to work.

"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," the general said, adding that "the military working dog performed a tremendous service as they all do in a variety of situations."

The K-9s have a tremendous success rate when it comes to targeting terror chiefs.

A Belgian Malinois named Cairo accompanied the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, and reportedly helped guard the perimeter while the SEALs tracked the al Qaeda founder down. Time magazine awarded Cairo its "Animal of the Year" award in 2011 — before his identity was made public. "This heroic dog deserves an extra treat, or twelve," the announcement said.