Pro-regime forces tried to attack US special operations forces in eastern Syria for the second time in less than a week, according to Navy Times.
US-led coalition advisers to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), called in an airstrike with an MQ-9 Reaper to destroy a Soviet-made T-72 battle tank on Saturday, after they “detected and saw” the tank taking a shot at them, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday.
“It continued to move, so we again executed self-defense rules of engagement to protect ourselves,” Harrigian added.
The composition of the forces was not the main concern for Harrigian. “I’m not just going to speculate on that,” he said, adding that the basis of the Reaper strike was self-defense above all else.
The decision to strike rested with the ground force commander of the US forces on scene, Harrigian explained.
“The tank that fired was within an effective range to target our SDF and advisers on the ground, which clearly provides him the ability to defend himself,” he said.
US-led Coalition conducted on Thursday an air strike against forces aligned with the Assad regime in response to “unprovoked attack” on a well-established SDF headquarters in Syria.