That was the word that signaled the success of Operation Kayla Mueller.
As it came through the comms and into the White House situation room, officials knew that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, was dead.
Of course, days later the organization would name his successor, but the death of the man who had led the terrorist organization (more accurately known as ISIL) would be a huge blow. U.S. officials said they had given him the chance to come out alive, but he chose to blow himself up, along with 2 or 3 children (depending on what source you read) he had taken with him into a tunnel.
What drove him into the tunnel?
That would be Conan, a Belgian Malinois working with the 75th Ranger Regiment and the U.S. Delta Force, in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province.
And we can’t get enough of America’s new “hero dog.”
It’s unlikely we were supposed to have any information at all about the animal since details about any members of Delta Force could put them in jeopardy while they remain in the field. But the President couldn’t help but Tweet a photo of the “wonderful dog.”
After that, it was only a matter of time before we learned the name and tried to squeeze out every last piece of information about “Conan.”
Because of the highly classified nature of the entire operation, only snippets are available – the rest is all embellishment, for now.
Conan was wounded in the raid. But while some painted a picture of a dog “seriously injured” by the explosion, it was simply zapped by live wires exposed after the bomb went off and returned to duty very quickly.
Whether or not the terrorist was crying or sniveling as the snarling animal chased him to the end of a dead-end tunnel is something we have no idea about, despite the stories. But Conan did chase al-Baghdadi into the tunnel where he would later kill himself.
Conan played an important role, to be sure. And this dog will get a heroes welcome when it returns to the U.S. (though not a Medal of Honor).
In fact, it even appears that Conan is a female – not a male as news outlets keep reporting (no doubt because of the name).
After the raid, her Dutch trainer was supposedly interviewed by RTL Nieuws and called Conan a “she.” (And, let’s be frank, the only thing we see dangling in the photo above is the belt around her waist.)
But one thing is true (if a little subjective) and that’s the president’s insistence that Conan is “a beautiful dog, a talented dog.”
Conan’s bravery gave us a much-needed excuse to talk about dogs for a week. And we also got to remember that a dog named Cairo played a role in the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in which al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed.
Cairo was also a Belgian Malinois – it helped secure the perimeter around the compound while Navy SEALs stormed the building.
Now, of course, breeders of the dogs are fielding thousands of calls from people who want one of their own.
But let’s face it, Conan is one of a kind!
Be sure to scroll down below for more information about the raid.
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