This Video Shows U.S. MQ-9 Reaper Drone Destroying a Russian-made T-72 Tank in Syria

The U.S. Air Force Central Command has released the video of a T-72 tank destroyed by a drone in Syria.

The following video shows a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone destroying a Russian-made T-72 main battle tank in Syria in what U.S. officials have defined a “defensive strike against pro-Syrian government forces”. The second one in less than a week.

According to Reuters the air strike took place near Al Tabiyeh, Syria, on Sunday. The U.S. military said the tank was destroyed after it moved within firing range of the U.S.-backed forces. Although the Pentagon said no U.S. or SDF forces were killed by the tank no detail about the type of weapon used in the strike – either a JDAM or Hellfire – has been provided.

The strike came few days after a major clash with pro-Assad forces and coalition forces overnight between Feb. 7 and 8 in Deir el-Zour Province: the U.S. launched significant air power to protect coalition advisors and Syrian Democratic Forces in a series of raids that may have left 100 or more of the pro-Syrian government personnel dead. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, head of Air Forces Central Command said the U.S. forces on the ground called in coalition strikes for more than three hours, involving F-22 stealth aircraft, F-15Es as well as MQ-9 Reaper drones, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and AH-64 Apache helicopters.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. American democracy at its finest, but what else can be expected of a country which spent 225 years of 239 years of its existence constantly in war with someone? Just continuous warmongering behaviour, this time by attacking troops of a sovereign country who just fighting on their own soil against invaders and various militants groups that occupies their country.

    As I said before, the U.S. with its bunch of vassals have nothing to do in Syria, they got no official invitation of the Syrian government, they got no UN mandate for its presence on the Syrian soil, they just invaded a sovereign country just because of their own intensions, same scenario they did numerous times before.

    It doesn’t matter if it is the Aleppo, Palmyra, Deir ez-Zour or territories beyond the Euphrates river, it still belongs just to one country, to the Syrian Arab Republic. Every minute NATO troops spent on the Syrian soil is a war crime. Ironically, NATO is blaming others for this when actually they themselves doing it and moreover has no problem with admiting it. The only excuse U.S. uses to justify its presence in Syria is backing militant groups that pretend to liberating territories occupied by IS while they are doing the same by not allowing SAA presence on the so called “liberated” soil that is now controlled mostly by the Kurds.

    Moreover, things are not so shiny for the U.S. when it comes to the Kurds they support. Even though by backing them U.S. got an unofficial justification for its presence there, one important thing they really fucked up and lost due to it… freindship and trust of its important ally, the Turkey. This can be also seen as the reason why the Turkey aimed its cooperation on Russia in the recent time. Turks understood the NATO is not the place for them anymore, especially not when it is the NATO who support militants near Turkish borders. I never thought that I would say something like this, especially not after the Su-24 accident, but I hope one day, Turkey will left the NATO and will make even better ties with Russia (maybe possible also with China) regarding to military cooperation what would be without doubt a double-sided benefit for both Russia and Turkey.
    Naturally, U.S. would be very upset about loosing the 2nd most powerful NATO member, but fact is that it is already happening. Let’s just hope Turkey will manage to bring it to the end and join a better company.

  2. We are in Syria fighting ISIS but these guys are Syrian army… I assume Africa is next, plenty of suffering and dictators. Plan: Clear the canvas by bombing and then rebuilding it. Good strategy like the success story in Mosul, i heard zero casualties on CNN, so i guess its true.

  3. Looks like the comment section in the Aviationist is infested with Russian meddling too. Same troll factory in St. Petersburg I suppose?

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