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Pentagon says it won't release name of dog injured in Baghdadi raid 'just yet'


Press Trust of India Washington
The Pentagon has said that it will for now not make public the name of the US service dog injured in the American air raid in northwest Syria that ended in the death of dreaded ISIS leader Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi, to "protect its identity".
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said on Monday, "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 theater, returned to duty with its handler. So we're not going to release photos or names of dogs or anything else just yet. It's a classified unit," the top American general said at a joint news conference with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
"Protecting his identity," Esper chipped in. "We're protecting the dog's identity," Milley echoed.
A day earlier, US President Donald Trump had said when the American troops landed in eight helicopters along with specially trained canines, they also had with them a robot, the first of its kind, to go after the ISIS leader inside the tunnel.
Being chased by dogs towards the dead end of a tunnel, Baghdadi killed himself by blowing up his powerful suicide vest, as such the robot was not used, the president told reporters at the White House, giving details of the operation in northwest Syria.
"Nobody was even hurt. Our 'K-9' as they call, I call it a dog, a beautiful dog. A talented dog was injured and brought back," Trump said in response to a question on Sunday.
K9s of Valor, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping police K9 officers safe by donating lifesaving equipment, said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the US Special Forces dog injured Saturday during the raid on an ISIS terrorist's compound. He sustained blast injuries as he chased a screaming Baghdadi into a tunnel. He did return with his team and is being treated."

The dog that accompanied US commandoes who killed Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan's Abbottabad was named as Cairo. It was a Belgian Malinois.

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First Published: Oct 29 2019 | 2:40 AM IST

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