On October 26, 2019, United States special forces operatives conducted a daring nighttime raid in northwest Syria with one mission and one mission alone – to capture or kill the leader of the ISIS caliphate, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
These brave members of the most elite unit in the United States military were not alone, however.
As President Trump would tell the nation and the world the next morning, there was another daring American that proved to be essential to this successful mission. This American went through grueling training, was heavily invested in by the United States military, and has been referred to by comrades in arms as an essential part of the team and a big part of this mission in particular.
Incredibly enough, however, this American is not a man or woman but a dog that goes by the codename CONAN.
Here’s what we know about this top dog that chased down the ISIS leader before he blew himself up (taking three children with them) in that cave in northwest Syria. ‘
Conan sustained minor injuries during the mission due to being exposed to live electrical cables but quickly returned to active duty.
ISIS Dog Conan is a Belgian Malinois
Conan might look like a German Shepherd, but military officials have reported off the record that as the overwhelming majority of other service dogs in the United States military, she is a Belgian Malinois.
Belgian Malinois (along with German and Dutch shepherds) are selected by the U.S. military because of their intelligence, drive, loyalty, and athleticism.
One former Marine dog handler told the Associated Press that Conan is exactly “the kind of dog you want to lead a patrol like this.”
Conan is Named after a Late-Night Comedian
Initially, there was a lot of confusion when pictures of Conan started to circulate on the internet, especially when her codename was released, and many people mistakenly assumed that she was a male.
Although female, she was named after the comedian Conan O’Brien, and not the famous Barbarian.
The handler that initially trained Conan chose the name as a direct tribute to the late-night comedian, Conan O’Brien.
Conan Might Be the Most Famous Dog on the Planet Right Now
While it’s impossible to know if Conan is going to have the kind of longevity in the limelight that a famous dog like Rin Tin Tin still enjoys today, the odds are pretty good that Conan is the most famous dog on the planet right now.
From the moment that President Trump told the world that she was injured in the attack (Conan was chasing Baghdadi into the caves when he detonated his suicide vest, causing injury to the dog but also killing himself and three children he pulled into the caves with him) people have felt an intense connection with this American hero.
The president even sent out a photoshopped picture of himself putting a medal around the neck of this brave four-legged hero, something that sparked a reaction in the press. Trump went on the record stating he thought the picture was funny, and the dog was a true American patriot.
There isn’t much information out there about Conan right now, but that’s on purpose. The US Special Forces want to play things pretty close to the vest in regards to this mission (and understandably so).
The president has indicated, however, that as soon as Conan has fully healed from the injuries stemming from the raid, she will be honored at the White House for a special ceremony.
Unfortunately, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense has announced that animals are not eligible to receive items like the Medal of Honor.
Conan and every other member of our Armed Forces that brought the monster al-Baghdadi to justice deserve the country’s respect for their dedication and bravery.
Belgian Malinois are known for their work ethic and intelligence and widely used by the military and law enforcement. A Malinois named Cairo famously accompanied U.S. commandos on the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden