Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki is struggling to fend off advances by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL. They have vowed to march to the capital Baghdad after taking control of Mosul and others areas.
Maliki is not the only one concerned. Iraq's neighbouring countries are also closely following the rapid developments. Turkey, Iran, Syria and even Saudi Arabia fear a spillover of the violence into their territories.
Iran said it will fight what it called 'extremism'. Turkey, whose Consul General in Mosul was kidnapped along with many others, is apparently considering its options.
For the US once the occupying force in Iraq, the situation is a source of concern. But Washington has made it clear it has no plans to intervene directly; but says it will help the Iraqi government.
So, how much of a threat is the advance of the ISIL fighters to an already volatile region?
Presenter: Mike Hanna
Haldun Solmazturk: retired Turkish Brigadier-General.
Robert Fisk: Foreign Correspondent for 'The Independent' newspaper.
David Pollock: a Fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy.