BAGHDAD  -   Spanish King Felipe VI on Wednesday arrived in Baghdad for the first official visit by a Spanish monarch to the Iraqi capital in four decades, according to state media.

At a formal reception, Iraqi President Barham Salih received King Felipe, after which the latter visited Spanish troops serving under the command of a U.S.-led military coalition, an Iraqi Foreign Ministry source told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. Some 425 Spanish military personnel are currently serving in the U.S.-led coalition, which was drawn up in 2014 to fight the Daesh terrorist group.

The Spanish contingent has reportedly been tasked exclusively with training Iraqi military personnel and is not involved in combat operations.

When the coalition was launched in 2014, Madrid initially sent only 30 military personnel to serve with the alliance.

In the more than four years since, however, the Spanish contribution was gradually increased.

In late 2017, officials in Baghdad declared that Daesh’s military presence in Iraq had been all but destroyed following a three-year war between the terrorist group and the coalition-backed Iraqi army.  

Nevertheless, Baghdad continues to wage sporadic operations against the group’s lingering presence in certain parts of the

country.