President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that a U.S. military operation found Islamic State (ISIS) terror chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died after detonating a suicide vest, killing three of his children.
Trump told America in an early morning address that al-Baghdadi died like a “dog” and a “coward.”
Trump also paid tribute during his remarks to a brave and heroic canine that took part in the operation that killed the terrorist.
“A beautiful dog, a talented dog, was injured and brought back,” Trump said.
At press time, neither Trump nor the Pentagon have released any other details on the canine soldier, including his or her overall health status or what role they played in finding al-Baghdadi.
In 2011, the New York Times reported on other occasion that a heroic dog took part in taking down a terrorist:
The identities of all 80 members of the American commando team who thundered into Abbottabad, Pakistan, and killed Osama bin Laden are the subject of intense speculation, but perhaps none more so than the only member with four legs.
Little is known about what may be the nation’s most courageous dog. Even its breed is the subject of great interest, although it was most likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, military sources say. But its use in the raid reflects the military’s growing dependence on dogs in wars in which improvised explosive devices have caused two-thirds of all casualties. Dogs have proved far better than people or machines at quickly finding bombs.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of United States forces in Afghanistan, said last year that the military needed more dogs. “The capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine,” he said.
Here are some examples of canine heroes and the U.S. military:
An American service dog that singlehandedly attacked a hidden German gun nest during World War II has been awarded Great Britain’s most prestigious medal for animal bravery.
Chips, a mix of German shepherd, collie and husky, received the Dickin Medal in 2018 for his canine bravery during World War II, Inside Edition reported:
The dog’s most courageous effort occurred in 1943, as he and his handler, Pvt. John Rowell, were part of the 1943 invasion of Sicily. Chips broke free from Rowell on the beach and ran toward machine gun fire that was pinning down Allied service members.
Chips attacked a hidden gun nest, biting German soldiers and pulling a smoking machine gun from its base. According to Rowell’s account of the pre-dawn raid, Chips grabbed one of the Germans by the neck and dragged him from the pill box. His comrades followed with their hands up.
A pit bull named Stubby served during World War I and was America’s most decorated war dog, according to the History Extra website:
Sergeant Stubby (c1916–1926) was an American dog who served as the mascot of America’s 102nd Infantry Regiment during the First World War. Found in Connecticut in 1917 by members of the infantry, Stubby was stowed away on a ship to France by a young soldier called Robert Conroy and went on to participate in four offensives and 17 battles.
Although the US military didn’t yet have an official “military working dog” programme, Stubby’s instincts and charm made him a firm favourite with the men of the regiment, who taught him how to raise his paw ‘in salute’.
Rin Tin Tin was a military service dog before becoming a movie star, according to War History online, which details the story of the soldier who rescued him and his siblings:
It was September 15, 1918, just after the success of the Battle of Saint-Mihiel. Corporal Lee Duncan, an aerial gunner of the U.S. Army Air Service, was sent to the small French village of Flirey to find a suitable airfield for the 135th Aero Squadron.
The area had been bombed and, while exploring it, Duncan found a severely damaged kennel in which there was a German shepherd dog dying of hunger with a brood of five puppies. The eyes of her litter were still closed.
At the end of the war in 1919, Duncan loaded the dogs onto a ship that brought them all to the USA.
An English bulldog named Jiggs became a mascot for the Marines following his service during World War I.
As of 2018, about 2,500 dogs were serving in the U.S. military.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter