President Donald Trump on Sunday revealed the fate of the military dog wounded in a raid on Islamic state leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“Our ‘K-9,’ as they call it,” Trump said. “I call it a dog. A beautiful dog – a talented dog – was injured and brought back.”
The president said both dogs involved in the raid survived, according to Fox News.
One of the dogs was injured, however, when al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest.
“He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him,” Trump told reporters. “He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.”
“The dog is a war veteran and a valued member of the team,” a soldier currently assigned to Delta Force told the Washington Examiner.
Here’s the dog that chased ISIS leader Baghdadi down a tunnel, leading him to blow himself up.
The dog was injured in the blast, but has now recovered and returned to the line of duty. ?????? pic.twitter.com/56WQaYl3Sy
— Caleb SkHull ??? (@CalebJHull) October 28, 2019
“The injury to the dog is an injury to one of us. These dogs are a special breed of courageous,” the Delta Force operator added.
“He died like a dog”
Trump announced Sunday that al-Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying” in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria.
Baghdadi, who had led the jihadist group since 2010, killed himself by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as U.S. forces closed in, Trump said in a televised address from the White House.
He was positively identified by DNA tests 15 minutes later, the president said.
“He was a sick and depraved man and now he’s gone,” said Trump, adding that capturing or killing Baghdadi had been his administration’s top national security priority.”
Hours later, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said Islamic State spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, described as Baghdadi’s right-hand man, had also been killed in a separate joint raid by Kurdish-led and U.S. forces in northern Syria.
The death of Baghdadi is a severe blow to Islamic State, which has been in disarray and has no declared successor as leader yet. But the group has in the past proved resilient, continuing to mount or inspire attacks in the region and beyond despite losing most of its territory in recent years.
“He died like a dog,” Trump said. “He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”
(Reuters contributed to this report.)