President Trump honors dog injured in al-Baghdadi raid

Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 15:55:53-05

President Donald Trump recognized Conan, the hero dog who was injured during a raid which led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at the White House on Monday.

Trump said Conan, a Belgian Malinois, had arrived in Washington from the Middle East and had received a “medal and a plaque.”

He called Conan “a tough cookie.”

“Conan was very badly hurt … and they thought maybe was not going to recover, (but) recovered very quickly and has since gone on very important raids,” Trump said.

The President said Conan was not retiring and is in “prime time” age-wise.

Trump had previously said that Conan was injured while chasing Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel.

Related: Military Working Dogs in the spotlight after Syria raid 

The dog is believed to have been sent down the tunnel after it was feared that Baghdadi was wearing a suicide vest. Baghdadi was indeed wearing a suicide vest and detonated it in the tunnel, killing himself and three children.

The President said that the tunnel collapsed during the explosion. He also appeared to refer to more than one dog on the scene of the chase, saying Sunday morning that Baghdadi “reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down.”

The dog, part of the Army Delta force, which executed the raid, was believed to have been injured from an electrocution and is recovering, a US defense official said.

To protect Conan’s ongoing work with the Army Delta force, its name was previously classified. But Trump tweeted Conan’s name and an image of the dog after the raid took place, calling the dog

He previously tweeted a photoshopped image of Conan with a dog version of the Medal of Honor.