Military dog hurt in al-Baghdadi raid is K-9 combat veteran

Associated Press

Washington – The military working dog injured in the raid last weekend that led to the death of the Islamic State leader was hurt after being exposed to live electrical cables but has returned to active duty, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, who leads U.S. Central Command, told reporters the dog was injured when it came in contact with the cables as it pursued Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a tunnel underneath a compound in northwestern Syria.

A working military dog is displayed on a monitor as U.S. Central Command Commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie speaks at a joint press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid.

The Pentagon has not released the dog’s name. McKenzie said the dog has worked with special operations forces for four years and taken part in about 50 missions.

He said working dogs like this one are “critical members of our forces.”

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Wednesday posted an altered image on Twitter of him presenting a medal to the dog. An all-caps tweet of “AMERICAN HERO” accompanies the photo-edited picture.

The image was derived from a photo taken at a 2017 East Room ceremony to honor retired Army medic James McCloughan with the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 10 men during the war in Vietnam. The Medal of Honor is the most prestigious military decoration awarded to U.S. service members for extraordinary acts of valor.

The original photo of McCloughan was published by The Associated Press. The altered image of Trump honoring the dog was originally posted on the Daily Wire website’s Twitter account.

The White House declined to comment about the president’s tweet.