AN AMERICAN drone destroyed a Russian-made T-72 battle tank in Syria in "self-defence", according to US Central Command amid reports US forces in the region have killed scores of Russian mercenaries.
On Saturday, US forces destroyed a Russian-made T-72 tank in Syria after pro-Assad forces opened fire on US special ops and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Colonel Dillon confirmed the news, adding: “The tank had been maneuvering with coordinated indirect fire on a defensive position occupied by Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisers.
“The defensive position was within effective range of the hostile weapons systems. Coalition officials maintained regular contact with Russian counterparts via established deconfliction lines to avoid misperceptions and miscalculations that could endanger each other’s forces.”
US forces have been fighting alongside the SDF for years while Russia has been training and equipping pro-Assad forces in the region.
Russia's military says it had nothing to do with the attack - a claim accepted by the US.
The SDF is an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, working with coalition support to root out the final ISIS fighters still in the region.