Security forces limit traffic and gas stations are closed in the port city of Basra in southern Iraq, Thursday, March 19, in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

READ MORE: Nearly 180 people in Iraq have been infected with the coronavirus and 13 have died. Fewer than 2,000 people have been tested for the virus in this country of 40 million.

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State has suspended training of Iraqi forces over coronavirus fears, a senior coalition military official said on Thursday.

The move coincides with a drawdown announced this week of coalition troops in Iraq, as Iranian-backed militias step up rocket attacks on bases hosting foreign forces. Two U.S. military personnel and a British soldier were killed in an incident this month.

Coalition officials say the reduction of troops and relocation of units into fewer Iraqi bases is because Iraqi forces are mostly capable of containing the threat from remaining Islamic State militants on their own.

The U.S.-led coalition has supported the Iraqi military since 2014 in the fight against Islamic State. (AFP/Reuters)

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