Sad Colonel, the Dog-of-War Captured by Taliban
Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 11:53 PM
By Cathy Burke
A video featuring a forlorn war-equipped dog, captured by the Taliban, is provoking uproar online.
In the footage, gunmen show off weapons while the subdued dog, wearing a vest with a GPS device, small camera and other equipment is being held by a chain, the Telegraph reported.
The capture of the dog, identified as a Belgian Malinois named Colonel, is believed to be the first by the Taliban of a military working dog.
The video was put up on the website of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and publicized by a series of tweets boasting of a Dec. 23 operation in which "6 US terrorists" were killed and "equip seized."
@JeffSchogol Dog & equipment were seized in Alingar district (#Laghman) after failed raid by enemy on 23-12-13 which left 6 invaders dead
— Abdulqahar Balkhi (@ABalkhi) February 6, 2014
"We can confirm that a military working dog went missing following an ISAF mission in December, 2013," the U.S.-led International Assistance Security Force said in a statement.
"It is ISAF policy to defer identification to the appropriate national authorities."
ABC News reported the U.S. military said the captured dog belonged to a coalition partner; the BBC reported it belonged to British forces.
The date of the tweeted raid coincides with a British operation east of Kabul in which a special forces soldier, Captain Richard Holloway of the Royal Engineers, was killed, the Telegraph reported.
ABC News said the Taliban video shows the captured dog wearing a vest that matches the description of those worn by dogs used by special operations units.
A Belgian Malinois named Cairo was part of the SEAL team that carried out the deadly 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan, ABC News noted.
"In the Special Ops community these dogs are doing incredible work to keep military professionals alive with their explosive detection skills, and assisting assault force entry teams take down bad guys on target," Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL told ABC News.
"They also provide companionship for their unit, dog handler, and the entire base. Words cannot explain how valuable this is, and only fellow pet owners understand."
The Army has 578 dog teams that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four dogs have died in Afghanistan since March 2011.