Donald Trump releases picture of hero dog that chased down ISIS boss Baghdadi

Donald Trump has released a picture of the hero dog that supported US commandos in the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

DELTA Force troops were supported by the service dog – reportedly named Conan – during the raid in Syria.

The US president shared the declassified picture of the dog wearing a combat vest and reportedly the army pooch has an invitation to the White House.

Trump tweeted: "We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdad."

And the official Twitter account for the White House posted: "A VERY GOOD BOY"

Conan is a Belgian Malinois, the same bread of dog used in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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The US President said in an address on Sunday that the dog chased down Baghdadi into a tunnel – where he then blew himself up with a suicide vest.

He hailed the dog as "beautiful" and "talented".

Trump revealed the dog had been injured in the raid, but pooch has since recovered and returned to active duty.

Baghdadi's body has since been dumped at sea and US officials are understood to soon release footage of the attack.

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Meanwhile, UN officials said evidence seized by troops at Baghdadi's compound will hopefully help future prosecutions of those accused of "heinous acts" committed in the name of so-called Islamic State.

Trump boasted the US forces involved in the raid in north-western Syria had gathered "highly sensitive" material about IS.

Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, head of the UN's investigative team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, said he evidence seized from Baghdadi's compound will help with future prosecutions.

"I'm sure that, at least I hope that, some of the information, material, that has been seized by the troops that went in would be definitely relevant for our investigations and for building the cases for the many, many other individuals that are responsible for some of the heinous acts that were committed under the auspices of the so-called Islamic State," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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Asked about the reality of obtaining evidence in a war zone that would be admissible in court, he said there are challenges but it is not impossible.

He added: "One of the peculiar aspects of Daesh is, in addition to the testimonial evidence of survivors and witnesses, and even in addition to those individuals that are currently detained, they had a penchant for documenting.

"And so there's an awful amount of information that they themselves put on the internet, on social media, and also documented who was paid what for what services."

Asked whether he thinks two suspected so-called Islamic State terrorists originally from Britain – dubbed The Beatles – are likely to stand trial, he said that, after speaking to victims from all communities, there is a "constant chorus that is demanding justice based upon evidence".

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A chief adviser to Turkish President Recep Erdogan told the Today programme it was "a load of rubbish" to suggest that the operation to find al-Baghdadi could have been done a month ago had it not been for the Turkish offensive.

Meanwhile, Downing Street said the Government would continue to seek justice for foreign fighters in the region where their crimes took place, despite Trump threatening to "drop them" at the UK border.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Our position on foreign fighters is unchanged.

"Our priority is to ensure the safety and security of the UK and our citizens: we will not allow anything to jeopardise this.

"The UK will continue to work closely with international partners in addressing the issues associated with foreign terrorist fighters and in pursuit of justice for those who have participated in terrorism overseas."

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Trump said that US special forces involved in the raid on a compound in north-western Syria had gathered "highly sensitive" material about IS, including information about its future plans.

The militant group, which arose from the remnants of al Qaida in Iraq after that group's defeat by US-led forces in 2008, remains a dangerous threat in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.

Chris Costa, a former senior director for counter-terrorism for the National Security Council in the Trump administration, said: "The bottom line is: This puts the enemy on its heels, but the ideology – and this sounds so cliched – is not dead."

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Key to ISIS was its "kill where you are" ethos, encouraging a far-flung network of followers, including those in the United States, to commit violence however and wherever they can.

That jihadist message is likely to live on, even with the death of al-Baghdadi.

That means US forces, perhaps in reduced numbers, will continue hunting and attacking key IS targets, even as Trump says he is committed to a 2016 campaign pledge to bring them home and end "endless wars" started under his predecessors.

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Trump has since acknowledged that ISIS, which he often calls "100%" defeated, still has ambitions to make a comeback.

The group is "very, very strongly looking to build it again," he said.

This, he said, explains why al-Baghdadi was in the Idlib province of north-western Syria, an area largely controlled by a rival group – the al Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – although other jihadi groups sympathetic to IS are also there.

"Well, that's where he was trying to rebuild from because that was the place that made most sense, if you're looking to rebuild," Trump said.

Trump suggested that other countries, including Russia, should carry on the fight against IS, but there is no indication that US forces will abandon the mission any time soon.

  • ISIS
  • Donald Trump

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