Iraqi forces say they have entered the town of Hit, a week after launching an operation to retake the town from Islamic State group fighters.
- Iraqi mud and political quagmire bog down battle for ISIS-held Mosul
- Report: Underground ISIS jail holding 1,500 prisoners liberated by Iraqi forces
- After Palmyra, Syrian troops seize another ISIS-controlled town
Commanders on the scene from Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces, who are leading the offensive, said Monday they are clearing ISIS fighters from Hit's northern neighborhoods as they push toward the town center.
Thousands of civilians are fleeing as Iraqi troops advance under cover of heavy airstrikes and artillery fire. Families, many with small children and elderly relatives, say they walked for hours through desert littered with roadside bombs to escape the violence.
Iraq's counterterrorism forces estimate more than 20,000 civilians are trapped inside the town.