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Iraqi base housing foreign forces south of Baghdad hit by rockets

Attacks come as US plans to withdraw from three key bases in Iraq in the coming weeks
Iraqi soldiers train by foreign contractors in the Besmaya military base in southern Baghdad (AFP)

Two rockets struck a base in Iraq hosting US and Nato troops on Monday, the third attack in a week on bases hosting foreign troops.

The rockets slammed into the Besmaya base south of Baghdad late Monday night, a statement by the military said, making no mention of casualties. 

Spanish forces linked to the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, as well as NATO training forces, are present in Besmaya. 

No group has claimed responsibility so far.

The attacks come as the BBC reported the US was planning to pull out of three key military bases in Iraq in the coming weeks.

A ceremony is set to take place later this week at al-Qaim, where the US will be formally handing over equipment to the Iraqi army, ending the US presence along the Iraqi side of the border with Syria.

Since late October, there have been 24 rocket attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad or bases where foreign troops are deployed, killing a total of three American military personnel, one British soldier and one Iraqi soldier.

Washington has blamed Kataib Hezbollah, an armed militia backed by Iran and designated a terrorist organisation by the US.

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The US has long insisted the Baghdad government should do more to reign in such factions, which make up part of the state-backed Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary body, and prevent them from targeting American troops and diplomats.

But Washington took a much tougher line in December after a US contractor was killed in a rocket attack, launching retaliatory air strikes against Kataib Hezbollah.

The faction's supporters then surrounded and briefly stormed the US embassy. Days later, Washington killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Hashed deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike on Baghdad.

Outraged, Iran launched cruise missiles at the largest Iraqi base hosting US troops and the Iraqi parliament voted to oust all foreign forces from the country. 

The parliamentary vote has yet to be implemented by a government.