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Russian and US hardware go head-to-head in Syrian war

Video shows moment advanced, Russian-made T-90 tank is hit by an ageing BGM-71 missile supplied by the US to rebels in Syria
A TOW missile speeds towards its target (Youtube)

This is the moment Syrian rebels fired an ageing US anti-tank weapon at Russia's most-advanced tank.

The video below shows Syrian rebels firing a wire-guided BGM-71 TOW at a Russian-made T-90 main battle tank in Sheikh Aqil, just northwest of Aleppo city.

The TOW missile appears to strike the turret of the tank but does not penetrate its armour - and one member of the crew is seen jumping out of the vehicle. 

Reports say that it drove away shortly after the video ended.

The nationality of the tank crew is unknown, but they are likely to be Syrian army.

Russia has deployed T-90s to defend its airbase in Latakia, and it is believed that some of the tanks have been given to the Syrian army.

According to the Washington Post, the video is a rare example of US military technology being used against the latest Russian hardware.

The T-90 and its updated T-90A replaced the T-80 as Russia's most advanced main battle tank.

The BGM-71 anti-tank missile has been supplied by the US and other countries to "moderate" rebel groups in Syria to counter the Syrian army's advantage in armour.

The Syrian army is mainly equipped with Soviet-era T-55s, T-62s and T-72s - whose armour the US missile was designed to defeat.

This video shows it is perhaps less effective against the later model T-90. 

T-90s are equipped with a protection system known as "Shtora", which disrupts incoming missiles targeting with smoke. However, the counter-measure appears in the video to have been either switched off or malfunctioning.

The missile hit the tank's "Kontact-5 reactive armour", which explodes outwards on impact to lessen the missile's effect.