The Iraqi Prime Minister has dismissed calls for a national salvation government to heal the bitter rifts that are tearing his country apart.
Mr Nouri al-Maliki said that including elements of Iraq’s substantial Sunni and Kurd populations in a government of national unity would simply cause even more destabilisation in Iraq.
Opponents had suggested that genuine moves to introduce a more balanced government might arrest the advance on Baghdad by the militant separatist Sunni group ISIS, but Mr Maliki rejected talk of sharing power as a “coup against the constitution and the democratic process”.
There has been no let-up in the military campaign by ISIS despite a Syrian bombing raid against ISIS positions in Iraqi towns in Abar province on the Syrian border. There were reports of 57 dead and scores injured.
The attack drew an immediate response from the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who warned Iraq’s neighbours to withhold further military action in Iraq.
“We’ve made it clear to everyone in the region that we don’t need anything to take place that might exacerbate the sectarian divisions that are already at a heightened level of tension,” Mr Kerry said at the NATO meeting in Brussels. – Compiled by wire and internet sources by the World Team
Top photo taken from The US Army Flickr photostream.