Maliki refuses emergency government while Al Qaeda's Nusra joins ISIS at border
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki ruled out the need for an emergency government despite growing violence in the country, according to Agence France Presse Wednesday.
"The call to form a national emergency government is a coup against the constitution and the political process. It is an attempt by those who are against the constitution to eliminate the young democratic process and steal the votes of the voters," said Maliki in a televised statement Tuesday.
However, the militant offensive, largely led by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, has left hundreds dead and thousands fleeing for their lives.
According to the UN this week, nearly 1,100 people have been killed in Iraq due to the offensive within the past three weeks alone.
ISIS managed to take control of areas in at least five of Iraq's provinces in days, and according to related reports Wednesday, have now won the allegiance of its rival faction at the Syria-Iraq border crossing.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the al-Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front pledged loyalty to ISIS at the Iraq-Syria border Wednesday, after months of fighting against the group in Syria.
With the recent pledge of allegiance, ISIS can now take control of both eastern Syria and western Iraq.
"They are rivals, but both groups are jihadist and extremists," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman as reported by AFP.