US President Donald Trump has appeared to declassify the name of the military dog involved in the US operation to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, even though he said he wouldn't.
It came as Trump tweeted an edited photo, bearing the watermark of conservative site The Daily Wire, appearing to show him awarding a Medal of Honor to the dog that was involved in al-Baghdadi's death last Saturday.
"Thank you Daily Wire. Very cute recreation, but the 'live' version of Conan will be leaving the Middle East for the White House sometime next week!" Trump wrote late Wednesday night.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
This is the first official acknowledgement of the dog's name. When the president tweeted a photo of the dog on Monday, he noted that the name of the dog was "not declassified" even though its picture is.
Newsweek reported earlier this week, citing multiple unnamed Defense Department sources, that the dog's name is Conan.
The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the dog's name and Trump's apparent declassification.
The military dog was injured by live electrical cables after al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, and has since recovered and returned to duty, US Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the head of US Central Command, said Wednesday afternoon.
The fake photo of Trump awarding the dog a Medal of Honor was altered from a real photo of Trump awarding James McCloughlan, an retired Army medic who saved men's lives during the Vietnam War, with the Medal of Honor in July 2017.
The New York Times reported that McCloughan laughed when he saw the altered photo juxtaposed to the one of him, and said: "This recognizes the dog is part of that team of brave people."
He was also concerned about the dog's condition when Trump tweeted that it was injured in the ISIS raid, The Times added.
Trump on Wednesday also appeared to tease the dog's appearance in the White House "sometime next week" — a move likely to fuel criticism that he is turning al-Baghdadi's death into a reality-TV spectacle about himself.
On Wednesday, the US military released video clips of the raid.