Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has rejected calls for a national salvation government as the country threatens to be torn apart by Sunni militants.
Maliki has called for "all political forces to reconcile" in the face of what he called the "terrorist onslaught".
The Shia prime minister, however, stopped short of promising greater representation in government for the Sunni Arab minority.
He warned that such calls represented a "coup against the constitution" and an attempt to end the democratic process.
Meanwhile, the Syrian splinter group of Al-Qaeda has reportedly joined forces with militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or I-SIL.
The move is significant as it opens the way for I-SIL to take control of both sides of the border.
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