A US jet operating in Syria destroyed a Russian-made T-72 battle tank near Al Tabiyeh, Syria, on Saturday, a Pentagon representative confirmed to Business Insider on Tuesday.
"The tank had been maneuvering with coordinated indirect fire on a defensive position occupied by Syrian Democratic Forces and Coalition advisers," US Marine Corps Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said, adding that the SDF's "position was within effective range of the hostile weapons systems."
The US has been training, equipping, and backing the SDF rebels in Syria's civil war for years as Russia has provided similar assistance to forces loyal to the Syrian government in close proximity.
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson first reported the news of the tank's destruction and said three crew members were killed, though their identities and affiliations were unclear. Tomlinson said the tank was destroyed after "pro-regime forces" fired on US special operations troops near the location where 500 pro-government forces attacked a headquarters used by SDF and US troops last week.