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US and Spain hand over base to Iraq as allied retreat continues

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By Daniel Bellamy  with AP
US and Spain hand over base to Iraq as allied retreat continues
Copyright  AP

The US and its allies are continuing their retreat back to Baghdad, 17 years after invading Iraq and overthrowing President Saddam Hussein's regime.

On Saturday the US and Spanish militaries withdrew from Basmaya base, south of the capital, and handed it over to their Iraqi counterparts.

On Friday the Iraqi military said four rockets had been fired at the base but no casualties were reported.

The US and Spanish troops at Basmaya had been training the Iraqi military to help them defeat ISIS.

In 2017 the Iraqi government said the Islamic extremist fighters had been defeated. Despite having lost almost all their territory, they still launch attacks.

On Saturday the Iraqi military said ISIS had launched an attack on a village in northern Saladin province.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported that the mayor of Semun village and four others were killed.

The US and its allies will re-base in Baghdad and at the Ain al-Asad Airbase in the country's western desert.

They say they will still assist Iraqi forces with air support and surveillance, but significantly cut back on training and ground operations.