The Russian defense ministry has denied responsibility for an attack on a neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo which wounded a young boy whose rescue was filmed and shared widely on social media.

The image of the 5-year old stunned boy, sitting in an ambulance caked with dust and with blood on his face, captured the horror that has beset the war-torn city.

The Russian defense ministry said in a statement Friday it never targets populated areas and that rebels themselves hit urban areas in order to derail humanitarian efforts there.

The ministry also said the footage of the boy's rescue showed windows in the house next door intact, indicating that the boy's house was not targeted by an airstrike but was hit with a mine that rebels use.