Forces push to­ward Mo­sul; group calls for airstrike probe

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Iraqi forces fought their way into two vil­lages near Mo­sul on Mon­day as the of­fen­sive to re­take the ex­trem­ist-held city en­tered its sec­ond week and a rights group urged a probe into a sus­pected airstrike that hit a mosque, killing over a dozen civil­ians.

Iraqi spe­cial forces be­gan shelling IS po­si­tions be­fore dawn near Bartella, a his­tor­i­cally Chris­tian town to the east of Mo­sul that they had re­taken last week. With pa­tri­otic mu­sic blar­ing from loud­speak­ers on their Humvees, they then pushed into the vil­lage of Tob Zawa, about 5½ miles from Mo­sul, amid heavy clashes.

Af­ter en­ter­ing the vil­lage, they al­lowed more than 30 peo­ple who had been shel­ter­ing in a school to es­cape the fight­ing.

The Iraqi Fed­eral Po­lice, a mil­i­tary-style force, pushed into a small vil­lage in the Shura district south of Mo­sul, where they fired a large an­ti­air­craft gun and rocket-pro­pelled grenades as they bat­tled IS mil­i­tants.

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