Russian Defense Ministry refutes reports of striking Aleppo residential district

MOSCOW, Aug. 19 (MNA) –The Russian Defense Ministry denies Western media reports of its alleged role in an airstrike on the residential neighborhood of the Syrian city of Aleppo, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Friday.

Images and video, filmed by the Aleppo Media Center anti-government activist group, of ash-covered 5-year-old Omar Daqneesh pulled from the rubble in Qaterji have gained wide circulation on social media and news outlets.

"We have repeatedly stressed that Russian Aerospace Forces aircraft active in the Syrian Arab Republic never engage targets within the boundaries of settlements. This especially concerns the al-Qaterji district of Aleppo, directly adjacent to the two recently opened Russian humanitarian operation corridors for the safe exit of local residents, mentioned in the Western media," Konashenkov said.

Konashenkov said Russian reconciliation center monitoring groups stationed in Aleppo record daily terrorist shellings of its residential neighborhoods from improvised multiple rocket launcher systems and artillery.

"The nature of the damage shown by Western channels of the building during Omran's rescue demonstrates that if the strike did take place, it would come not from aircraft munitions, but a mine or a gas cylinder used in large numbers by the terrorists," the spokesman stressed.

He further accused the media of committing a "moral crime" in the "cynical hype" of the volunteers' footage for their "formulaic propaganda material."

SPUTNIK/MNA

News Code 119044

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