President Donald Trump on Monday honoured the dog which was injured in the combat mission in the United States raid against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the late Islamic State leader.
Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was said to have chased al-Baghdadi into a tunnel, where he eventually detonated a suicide vest and killed himself alongside two of his children. The dog was said to have been injured as a result of the electric cables exposed in the detonation, but seems to have made a full recovery.
President Trump at a brief ceremony at the White House commended the dog’s bravery and intelligence in conducting operations for the Navy Seals.
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“The dog is incredible.
“So brilliant, so smart. Conan did a fantastic job,” President Trump said at a brief ceremony as the Belgian Malinois sat beside him with a handler.
The US President also expressed surprise that the dog had retired and is still in active service despite the severity of injuries accumulated during the raid on al-Baghdadi’s hone.
“Conan was very badly hurt, as you know. They thought maybe he was not going to recover. He recovered actually very quickly and has since gone on very important raids,” Trump said.
Conman was awarded a medal and a plaque by the US President.
Also present at the event at the White House were First Lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
The dog’s identity had been a closely guarded secret until it was declassified by President Trump, who retweeted a picture of the pooch after the raid at Baghdadi’s lair.
Details about Conan’s life, achievements and family background are scant, although he certainly comes from good stock: US Navy SEALs used a Belgian Malinois in the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, has said Conan was a “critical member of our forces” and mentioned his impressive record of 50 combat missions in four years of service.