Trump tweets a fake photo of the injured dog in the al-Baghdadi raid, evokes howls of laughter

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump tweeted a false image of himself awarding a medal of honor to the military dog wounded in the bold raid that killed the leader of the Islamic State in northwestern Syria.

Baghdadi, 48, died on Saturday after the world's most wanted terrorist was chased by the US special forces along with military working dog s. He blew up his suicide vest following the US raid on his compound in Syria's Idlib province.

"AMERICAN HERO!" wrote Trump in an all-caps tweet accompanying the photo of the dog he said chased down al-Baghdadi in a Syrian tunnel before the ISIS leader killed himself.

The image, apparently produced by the Daily Wire, a conservative site, is an altered version of a real Trump photograph awarding the medal of honor in 2017 to a retired army doctor who was honored to save the lives of 10 people during Vietnam war, he reported.

In the image tweeted by the US president, McCloughan's head has been replaced with the head of the dog , the Belgian Malinois named in media reports as "Conan", with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

When Trump first tweeted the dog 's photo on Tuesday, he said the pooch's image was declassified, but its name wasn't. But early on Thursday morning, he appeared to confirm the dog 's name was Conan, without saying if it remained classified. He also said the dog would leave the Middle East for the White House next week.

Trump has spoken of the dog in glowing terms in the days since the raid.

"Our ‘K-9,' as they call it, I call it a dog . A beautiful dog — a talented dog — was injured and brought back," he said on Sunday.

McCloughan laughed when a Times reporter showed him the two images. Military dog s "are very courageous", he said.

The president's post caused howls of laughter among some Twitter users, while others clearly had a bone to choose from with the decision to cut a war hero or with the quality of Photoshop's work.

"What a way to treat a war hero. Also, look forward to the tick tock about how much time Trump spends asking about the dog and how much executive branch effort is being made to get the dog to the White House," said one follower.

"Somewhere out there, Donald Trump Jr is photoshopping his face over the dog 's face," wrote another.

"This hero pup was raised to protect us, so Trump had to photoshop this picture because the dog would bite him," another user tweeted.

It wasn't the dog 's first brush with fame. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted another photo of the "wonderful" animal who was injured during the raid.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said the dog "performed a tremendous service, as they all do"

In August, Trump tweeted a fake image of a gleaming Trump Tower in Greenland, a country he had reportedly talked about buying. He has also tweeted a manipulated GIF of him hitting Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.