Britain is withdrawing some of its troops from a global training mission in Iraq because of the coronavirus outbreak. The decision to redeploy was made because there had been a “reduced requirement for training” from the Iraqi security forces and a pause in coalition and NATO training missions.

“The Ministry of Defence has therefore decided to redeploy some of its personnel back to the United Kingdom,” it said in a statement. Britain has been working alongside coalition partners in Iraq since 2014 to train Iraqi security forces but the programme has been “paused” for 60 days as a precaution because of COVID-19. Key UK military personnel will remain in Iraq supporting the government in Baghdad, the coalition and UK interests. Troops brought home could be redeployed elsewhere in the world, but could also be asked to support family members affected by the outbreak, which has claimed more than 100 lives in Britain. Defence Minister Ben Wallace said: “In recent months the tempo of training has significantly declined, which means that I am in a position to bring back the current training unit to the UK. “There remains a significant footprint of UK Armed Forces within the coalition and elsewhere,” he added, promising London would remain committed to the “complete defeat” of remnants of the Islamic State group.

The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State has suspended training of Iraqi forces over coronavirus fears. The move coincides with a drawdown announced 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.

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.Since the Sunni Muslim extremist group’s defeat in Iraq in 2017, U.S.-Iranian tension has put the coalition increasingly in the crosshairs of Shi’ite militia groups backed by Tehran.

The coalition suspended training in January when militia rocket attacks increased and the United States killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iraq’s top paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike in Baghdad. Training was set to resume in full but coronavirus fears have halted it again.