Most IS fighters have fled Iraqi town of Hit: military

ISIL, standing for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, was for years insisted on by Barack Obama's administration, while ISIS, standing for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is more commonly used more in conversation (AFP Photo/MARWAN IBRAHIM)

Baghdad (AFP) - The Islamic State group has pulled most of its fighters out of Hit, a large town in western Iraq on which security forces were advancing, a military spokesman said on Sunday.

"The majority of Daesh (IS) fighters in Hit, Rutba and Kubaysa have fled through the desert to other regions," Yahya Rasool, Iraq's top security spokesman, told AFP.

Kubaysa is a smaller town that lies west of Hit while Rutba is a desert town on the road to Jordan.

"There is an operation to hunt them down with Iraqi aircraft," said Rasool, who is the spokesman for the Joint Operations Command coordinating the fight against IS in Iraq.

"Hit is surrounded by Iraqi forces from the south and north," he said. "Thousands of families have fled the area to meet our forces."