Israel carried out an airstrike on Syria's Damascus International airport and other positions south of the capital the ministry of defense said early on Saturday.

This was the second attack on the airport in a little over two weeks, and the defense ministry said five soldiers were killed and the facilities sustained material damage.

There was no immediate confirmation whether the strike had affected airport operations.

Israel's military said it did not comment on foreign reports.

Israel has intensified strikes on Syrian airports to disrupt Iran's increasing use of aerial supply lines to deliver arms to allies in Syria and Lebanon including Hezbollah, regional diplomatic and intelligence sources told Reuters.

Tehran has adopted air transport as a more reliable means of ferrying military equipment to its forces and allied fighters in Syria, following disruptions to ground transfers.

A senior Israel Defense Forces officer said on Thursday that Hezbollah and other Iran-backed militia groups are withdrawing from areas in Syria that have been targeted by Israel. The apparent withdrawal of these forces from some regions is “a result of the IDF strikes” in recent weeks. He did not say which parts of Syria he was referring to.

Israel has been targeting Iranian weapons supplies since 2017 to prevent Tehran from expanding its foothold in Syria and transferring more weapons to its proxy forces.

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