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US military dog injured during al-Baghdadi raid in Syria 'fully recovering'


The US military dog that was wounded during the daring operation on Islamic State (ISIS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in war-torn Syria is "fully recovering", Pentagon officials said on Monday.
The 'K-9', which officials declined to identify, accompanied the US special forces during the raid and played an instrumental role in locating and tracking al-Baghdadi at his compound in Syria's Idlib province.
During the operation, the ISIS leader was ultimately killed, along with his wife and three children, The Washington Times reported.
K-9 chased al-Baghdadi through a tunnel at his compound, following which the terrorist killed himself by detonating his powerful suicide vest. The nature of the dog's injury was not revealed, but officials underlined that the canine played a key role in the success of the secret mission.
"The dog is still in theatre. The dog, the K-9, the military working dog, performed a tremendous service as they all do in a variety of situations. (It is) slightly wounded and fully recovering. But the dog is still in theatre (and) returned to duty with its handler," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters here.
Earlier, a Washington Post journalist Dan Lamothe confirmed from a source that the wounded dog is doing fine.
"US official confirms that the working dog wounded in the Baghdadi raid is ok. I said, what's the dog's name? Source said, it's classified. I said, really? Source said, yes," he tweeted.
"Confirmed with a second source: As of this morning, at least, the dog's name is classified. Mind you, the dog's name is not 'Classified.' But it's classified," the scribe said in a follow-up tweet.
In 2017, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had furnished a list of the 'first all-female Puppy Class', in which the intelligence agency had introduced seven dogs with their names that would participate with military forces in future operations.
On Sunday, Trump while confirming al-Baghdadi's death, said that the ISIS chief had "died like a dog" and "died like a coward" in the operation conducted by US special forces in Syria.
He also spoke about the canine, saying a "beautiful dog" was injured during the operation, according to The Washington Post.
Al-Baghdadi, the most notorious ISIS leader, had been in hiding for the last five years.
Back in April, al-Baghdadi appeared in a propaganda video a week after a series of bombings rattled Sri Lanka, in which more than 250 people were killed.
He first appeared in 2014 during a sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul in Iraq. The speech marked the rise of the self-declared "caliphate" of the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The notorious ISIS leader had also periodically issued audio statements, with the last being in August 2018.
The US had earlier announced a reward of USD 25 million for information leading to al-Baghdadi's death or arrest.

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First Published: Oct 29 2019 | 12:39 AM IST

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