skeeze (CC0), Pixabay

 K-9 Hero of the Al-Baghdadi Raid 

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CONAN receives medal from President Trump
President Trump Awards medal to K9 Hero, Conan


Just Who Is This K-9 Hero?

Just as other team members needing protection from retaliation, the name and current location of this K-9 Hero has not been released. President Trump spoke proudly about the role played by this heroic dog when he informed the nation of the raid. President Trump later tweeted further praise and a declassified photo of the K-9 Hero of the Al-Baghdadi Raid as seen above.

****UPDATE. Someone doxxed our hero! His name is now being shared around the world on social media. His name is Conan.

What Else Do We Know?

We do know how this K-9 soldier bravely pursued Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi when he tried to escape through a tunnel beneath his compound. While dragging three of his small children along with him, Al-Baghdadi set off an explosion. The blast wounded the K-9 Hero and killed the fleeing terrorist and three of his children.

President Trump gave a dramatic report of the raid in northeastern Syria: “Al-Baghdadi fled whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” to his death. The U.S. troops, led by their dogs, closed in just as he reached the end of the tunnel. The infamous leader of ISIS died a coward’s death, and he will be remembered as such. 

Conan helped to take down this terrorist
Conan helped to take down this terrorist

Although the brave dog was injured while in pursuit of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, it was not a life-threatening wound, and he is recuperating well. The K-9 Hero of the Al-Baghdadi Raid will soon be back in action. I guess you can’t keep a good dog down!

What Do We Know About the Choice of Dog for Our K-9 Team?

The Belgian Malinois (MAL-in-wah) is a breed of medium-sized dogs, and they usually weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. Their height ranges from 22 to 24 inches tall, and they live between 12 and 14 years, on average.

malinois, flower meadow, dandelion meadow


At first, you may think that this breed of dog is a member of the German Shepherd family. There is a similarity between the two breeds. However, the Malinois has been recognized by the AKC since 1959 as a separate and unique breed. 

 Both breeds are shorthaired and, most commonly, are fawn-colored dogs possessing a black mask. The Belgian Malinois is one of four recognized types of Belgian herding dogs. Technically considered to be a herding dog, their skills in guiding and protecting animals is easily transferred to doing the same for humans.

belgian shepherd malinois, attack, competition

The U.S. military often selects the Belgian Malinois breed for its K-9 Team. This breed has proven to be an ideal choice for guiding and protecting troops, searching out enemy forces and looking for explosives. Their inborn desire to guard and defend makes them a perfect choice for this Team.

Belgian Malinois are known and highly prized for both its intelligence and the ability to be aggressive on command, according to Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association. Ron was once a dog handler for the Marines. His organization is dedicated to helping both retired and active military dogs.

Mr. Aiello has had years of experience handling military dogs. When he says that the Malinois is the dog you want to lead a raid like this as the first line of defense, you can believe him. 

dog, tank, army

This Raid Is Not An Isolated Incident

There are multiple incidents in which the Belgian Malinois has played a significant role in defending our troops and our country. One of the most famous heroic military raids involving a Malinois took place in 2011.

Cairo, a Belgian Malinois military dog, was honored in a ceremony by President Obama in 2011. This brave K-9 Hero played a significant role in the 2011 raid that killed the head of al-Qaida in Pakistan. Osama bin Laden had evaded justice for over a decade until Cairo, and the U.S. Navy SEALs took him out.

Heroes Come in Many Forms

Whether two-legged or four, human or canine, our heroes deserve recognition. Right now, for his safety, they are keeping his name and location classified. Eventually, his name will be included in the long list of heroes who served our country with courage and distinction. Until then, we will think of him as the K-9 Hero who took down the head of ISIS.


Credit: Military Dog Praised as Hero of al-Baghdadi Raid, October 29, 2019, 3 Comments  (PHOTO: White House via AP)

Credit to Three Million Dogs for photo of Cairo

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As Wife, Mother of 5, and Nana of many more, I have known and loved many dogs who were treasured members of our family. My education, experiences in showing, breeding, and developing pedigree-based breeding programs for others gives me a strong background upon which to base articles of interest to most dog lovers. However, it is my great love for dogs that gives me the passion to share them with other dog lovers.


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