President Donald Trump identified the dog involved in the raid of the ISIS leader’s compound over the weekend as “Conan” and said the heroic canine will visit the White House.
The dog’s name had previously been classified to protect his identity.
Trump made the disclosure late Oct. 30, commenting on a meme he shared created by the Daily Wire website showing him giving the dog a medal.
“Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the ‘live’ version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!” he wrote on Twitter.
Conan was a key part of the U.S. military raid on the compound of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The terrorist killed himself in a dead-end tunnel, military leaders said.
Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the “live” version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week! https://t.co/Z1UfhxsSpT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
“He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children,” Trump said in a statement on Sunday.
“Our K-9, as they call—I call it a dog, a beautiful dog, a talented dog—was injured and brought back. But we had no soldier injured,” he also said.
Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was injured from being exposed to live electrical wires while chasing al-Baghdadi through the tunnel, Gen. Frank McKenzie said earlier Wednesday.
The dog has recovered and returned to active duty.
Conan has worked with special operations forces for four years and been part of about 50 missions.
“U.S. Special Operations Command military working dogs are critical members of our forces. These animals protect U.S. forces, save civilian lives, separate combatants from non-combatants, and immobilize individuals who express hostile intent,” McKenzie said.
“This dog is a four-year veteran of the SOCOM K-9 program and has been a member of approximately 50 combat missions. He was injured by exposed live electrical cables in the tunnel after Baghdadi detonated his vest beneath the compound. I will also note he has been returned to duty.”
The tunnel itself was found from analysis, including indications from military dogs, McKenzie told reporters at a briefing.
According to the United States War Dogs Association, the vast majority of military working dogs in recent years are German and Dutch shepherds and Belgian Malinois, “breeds chosen because they are very aggressive, smart, loyal and athletic.”
“German Shepherd dogs are preferred as the standard breed because of their unique combination of traits. Shepherds are intelligent, dependable, predictable, easily trained, usually moderately aggressive, and can adapt readily to almost any climatic conditions. While many dog breeds exhibit some or most of these traits, the Shepherd more than any other breed, most consistently exhibits all of these traits. For specialized roles, detector dogs in particular, other breeds are used,” it stated.
“Retrievers (Labrador, Golden or Chesapeake Bay) are the preferred breeds for One Odor Detector dogs.”
The dogs are trained by the 341st Military Working Dog Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.