Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki wants to start forming a new government within a week, but he has rejected calls to form a more inclusive government, something the US secretary of state urged him to do when the two men met in Baghdad just two days ago.
“The dangerous goals behind the call for the formation of a national unity government, as they call it, are no secret to Iraqis,” al Maliki said in his weekly televised address.
“It is simply an attempt by those who rebel against the constitution to end the young democratic process, take away the wishes of the voters and circumvent the constitutional process,” he added.
As Iraq beefs up security, volunteers waited in line to fight alongside Shi-ite militias mobilised by the government to fight the Sunni militants.
Some Baghdad residents have fled their homes and are seeking refuge in the Kurdish north which is relatively secure and where food aid has been distributed.
The number of flights from Baghdad to Arbil has tripled. Tickets are sold out and trading at a premium on the black market.