The Taliban must be desperately low on their intimidation techniques. Their recent claim of capturing a U.S. military dog was immediately shot down by Pentagon officials, who claim the dog does not belong to any branch of the U.S. military, reports CNN on Thursday.
Afghanistan’s Taliban circulated a video of a dog in an elaborate military style canine vest containing a GPS unit, torch and camera, and stated that they have a “mujahedeen seized US dog” that was taken during an “attempted nighttime raid” by U.S. forces back in late December.
The December 23 raid in the eastern province of Laghman did occur, but no animals were used by the U.S. in the raid.
U.S. Army Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the dog, believed to be a Belgian Malinois named “Colonel,” does not belong to the U.S. military, but belongs to another country from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
“I can confirm that ISAF (International Assistance Security Force) did confirm that a coalition working dog went missing after an operation in December. However, this is not a U.S. military working dog,” Speaks said.
The hound appears held by a chain on a video released on the website of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. A tweet accompanying the video boasts of killing “6 US terrorists” and “equip seized.” Pentagon officials believe the dog is a British military service dog.
“You see the ears?” the handler asks in the video posted on the Taliban's Twitter account. “They are down. That tells you that the dog is not aggressive and just wants to feel safe. Right now the dog is terrified.”
The U.S. did not confirm any of the other claims made by the Taliban regarding killing six U.S. soldiers.
“We can confirm that a military working dog went missing following an ISAF mission in December, 2013,” ISAF said in a statement. “It is ISAF policy to defer identification to the appropriate national authorities.”
The U.S. military has employed hundreds of canines to assist in war efforts. Most are used to sniff out unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).