A US Army-trained Alsatian has been branded a hero after attacking two Islamic State fighters during a firefight last month (April) between Isis and British Special Air Service (SAS) troopers. The incident reportedly came after an SAS team had completed a 10-day training programme with Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.
However, the SAS convoy was attacked while heading back to base in an ambush orchestrated by fighters aligned with Isis (Daesh).
After being forced to take cover, the special forces team was reportedly attacked by "50 heavily armed jihadis", according to The Daily Star. With the SAS pinned down between three locations while under fire from machine guns mounted on Toyota trucks, a US soldier, who was part of the training te unleashed the war-trained Alsatian which charged the militants.
"The Alsatian was with the team in a training role, but when the troops came under fire it was desperate to get involved," one unnamed military source told the Star.
"It could sense the tension and had an overpowering urge to protect its handler and the other troops. When the dog was unleashed it went after the greatest threat without consideration for its own safety – this is what they are trained to do.
"A snarling Alsatian running at you is very frightening and probably not something the jihadis had encountered. The dog did its job and returned to its handler with its tail wagging."
The news emerged just days after US Navy Seal, Charlie Keating, 31, was killed in the same area where the SAS incident allegedly took place. Keating, who was the third American to be killed in combat since the US military launched IS-related missions in 2014, died near the city of Irbil in northern Iraq on 3 May.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that British troops – in collaboration with their US counterparts – successfully kidnapped three IS chiefs while carrying out raids in Mosul, and area that still remains the largest city in Iraq under Isis control. These top-secret "snatch missions" have been mounting on known IS compounds in the region.