Trump Salutes Hero Military Dog for K-9 Veterans Day

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President Trump, Vice President Pence and first lady Melania Trump, present Conan, the military working dog injured in the successful operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,  in the Rose Garden at the White House, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Trump, Vice President Pence and first lady Melania Trump, present Conan, the military working dog injured in the successful operation targeting Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

To mark K-9 Veterans Day on Friday, President Donald Trump honored the military working dog injured in the raid that killed the head of the Islamic State last year.

Trump's relationship with Conan, a Belgian Malinois assigned to 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, began late last year after the canine was the only American injured in a secret mission to take out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Oct. 27.

Conan, whose exact gender has been disputed, reportedly chased the terrorist down a dead-end tunnel and trapped him as U.S. special operators closed in. The dog was injured when al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest.

In addition to tweeting out Conan's picture the day after the raid, the president awarded the pup an unspecified medal in November.

Related: Trump Awards Conan the Hero Special Forces Dog a Medal at the White House

"Many of our bravest and most adept military personnel were involved in the raid that brought this evil ISIS leader to justice, and Conan bravely worked by their side," Trump said in a statement Friday for K-9 Veterans Day. "Thanks to Conan, no American personnel were lost in the operation, further demonstrating the vital role K-9s play in safeguarding our national security."

Since 1942, more than 30,000 dogs have served in the America military, including about 2,500 who are working today, according to the statement.

-- Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at dorothy.mills-gregg@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DMillsGregg.

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