A US service dog who was injured during the raid at the hideout of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northwestern Syria has returned to service, a top American general said. The dog is a four-year veteran of the SOCOM Canine Program and has been a member of approximately 50 combat missions, US Central Command Commander General Kenneth McKenzie told reporters at a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday.
"He was injured by exposed live electrical cables in the tunnel after Baghdadi detonated his vest beneath the compound," the general said, adding the dog, whose name was not revealed, has returned to duty.
McKenzie said that US special operations command military working dogs are critical members of the US forces. These animals protect US forces, save civilian lives, separate combatants from noncombatants, and immobilize individuals who express hostile intent, he said. These special dogs are very good at scenting humans and going after them when they're not immediately obvious.
Baghdadi's safe house in northwest Syria was stormed on Sunday by special forces along with military working dogs and chased the world's most wanted terrorist leader as he tried to flee. He was cornered in a tunnel beneath the building.