An Israeli airstrike near Damascus airport killed five Syrian soldiers, according to state media in Syria.

“The attack resulted in the death of five soldiers and material damage,” the official Syrian news agency Sana said on Saturday, citing a military source.

The strike in the early hours of the day came “from the northeast side of Lake Tiberias, targeting Damascus airport and some points south of Damascus”, he added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor confirmed the strikes killed five Syrian soldiers and said two Iran-backed fighters were also killed.

The monitor, who relies on an extensive network of sources inside Syria, said Israel was targeting sites where Iran-backed groups were stationed near Damascus airport and surrounding areas .

An Israeli strike in the countryside around the capital and south of the coastal province of Tartous killed three soldiers last month.

In June, Israeli airstrikes put Damascus airport out of service for almost two weeks.

Over the past month, Israeli airstrikes have twice targeted Aleppo airport.

The rights watcher said at the time that the strikes targeted arms depots belonging to Iran-backed militias.

Since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes against its northern neighbor, targeting government troops as well as Iranian-backed allied forces and Hezbollah fighters.

Israel rarely comments on individual strikes but has admitted carrying out hundreds. He says his air campaign is necessary to prevent nemesis Iran from gaining a foothold on his doorstep.