The name is still classified but President Donald Trump on Monday outed the military working dog that tracked down the head of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Trump tweeted a photo of a Belgian Malinois that he said worked with a team of special forces in the capture of al-Baghdadi in a tunnel beneath a compound in northeastern Syria.
The name and other details about the dog remain a secret.
“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 tweeted.
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
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, told reporters earlier Monday that the animal “performed a tremendous service” in the Saturday night raid.
The dog was described as slightly wounded after leaping into the fray on Saturday. President Donald Trump praised the dog in his remarks on Sunday describing the battle that took place at al-Baghdadi’s compound.
The dog “went into the tunnel” where al-Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest, Trump said. “Our canine, as they call - I call it a dog, a beautiful dog, a talented dog - was injured and brought back,” he said.
US Army General Mark Milley was tight-lipped about the identity of the dog when asked at a Pentagon news briefing on Monday.
“We’re not releasing the name of the dog right now. The dog is still in theater,” Milley said, using the term for military operations. “The dog, the canine, the military working dog, performed a tremendous service, as they all do, in a variety of situations.”
Milley expressed doubt that photos of the dog would be released any time soon.
“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. It’s a classified unit and (we’re) protecting the dog’s identity,” he said.