The identity of the military canine who aided U.S. special forces in eliminating Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend has been declassified.
The heroic dog, whose name is Conan, will be returning from service in the Middle East “sometime next week” for a visit to the White House, according to a Wednesday tweet from President Donald Trump.
The president’s tweet came complete with an edited image of Trump awarding the dog with a paw-shaped service medal — a digital creation of the conservative news outlet The Daily Wire.
“Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation,” Trump wrote, “but the ‘live’ version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!”
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
Trump had referred to Conan as an “AMERICAN HERO!” in a previous tweet.
According to Newsweek, a senior Pentagon source said the dog, a Belgian Malinois named for American comedian and late-night television host Conan O’Brien, had partaken in a chase with al-Baghdadi through an underground cave system in Northern Syria during Saturday night’s top-secret raid.
The final moments of this chase resulted in the terror leader’s ensuing suicide by explosive vest.
Gen. Frank McKenzie of U.S. Central Command told reporters Wednesday that Conan was, in fact, injured during the raid, Fox News reported.
The dog’s injuries were not life-threatening, however, stemming from exposure to live electrical wire during the chase.
Fox News reported he has already made a full recovery, returning to active duty — where the four-year military work dog has seen more than 50 battlefield missions.
Conan, like all MWDs, was trained from birth for service as a front-line operator.
According to the U.S. War Dogs Association, Malinois like Conan are chosen alongside German and Dutch shepherds for their “very aggressive, smart, loyal and athletic” natures.
“That’s the kind of dog you want to lead a patrol like this,” former Marine MWD handler Ron Aiello told Fox News and The Associated Press. “They are the first line of defense.”
“They go out front,” Aiello said.
Left-wing establishment media personalities and “fact-check” journalists were quick to detract from the celebration surrounding Conan, however, taking the time to issue public statements on the authenticity of the clearly edited image.
I’ve requested details from the @WhiteHouse on this photo.
There was no such canine event on today’s @POTUS schedule but there is a Medal of Honor ceremony set here for later today for an active duty Green Beret. https://t.co/NESINT9J4b
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 30, 2019
A WH official said “the dog is not at the WH.” https://t.co/eJLqBMyKna
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 30, 2019
“A [White House] official said ‘the dog is not at the [White House],'” CNN reporter Jim Acosta wrote on Twitter.
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