Hopes for the quick formation of a new inclusive Iraqi government have been dashed.
Sunnis and Kurds walked out of the first session of the country’s new parliament on Tuesday after Shi’ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki.
Meanwhile Kurdish forces are rushing to strengthen their frontlines against militant fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), creating a border that could eventually mark a possible future Kurdish state in Northern Iraq.
ISIL has alarmed regional and world powers by claiming universal authority over lands seized during the last month.
Kurds have taken advantage of the militant advance to seize territory, including Kirkuk, which they see as their historic capital and which sits above huge oil deposits.