BARTELLA, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi forces shelled Islamic State positions outside Mosul on Monday as fighting to retake the extremist-held city entered its second week. A rights group, meanwhile, urged a probe into a suspected airstrike last week that mistakenly hit a mosque, killing over a dozen civilians.
The purported airstrike in northern Iraq struck the women's section of a Shiite mosque on Friday in the town of Daquq amid a large Islamic State assault on the nearby city of Kirkuk. That assault was meant to distract the Iraqi forces and their allies from the massive operation around Mosul.
Human Rights Watch said Daquq's residents believe the attack was an airstrike because of the extent of the destruction and because planes could be heard flying overhead. The New York-based watchdog said at least 13 people were reported killed.
The U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi military, which are waging the offensive to drive IS from the northern city of Mosul, are the only parties known to be flying military aircraft over Iraq.
Col. John Dorrian, a U.S. military spokesman, said the coalition had "definitively determined" that it did not conduct the airstrike that killed civilians in Daquq, and had shared its findings with the Iraqi government, which is carrying out its own investigation.
"The Coalition uses precision munitions and an exhaustive process to reduce the possibility of civilian casualties and collateral damage because the preservation of civilian life is paramount importance to us," Dorrian said.
Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for the Joint Military Command, confirmed the Iraqi government was investigating the attack. He declined to say whether Iraqi or coalition planes were flying in the area at the time of the explosion.
The strike in Daquq, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Kirkuk, took place as dozens of IS militants attacked several government and police compounds in the city of Kirkuk, some 170 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Mosul.
Daquq Mayor Amir Khodakram said on Saturday that the alleged airstrike killed 17 people, mainly women and children, and wounded another 50. He said it wasn't clear who carried out the airstrike.
Over the past week, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been battling IS in a belt of mostly uninhabited towns and villages to the north, east and south of Mosul, pushing to within 9 kilometers (5