Iraq crisis: Islamists force 150,000, including christians to flee Mosul -
More than 150,000 people have been forced to flee Iraq's second city of Mosul after Islamist militants effectively took control of it.
Troops were among those fleeing as hundreds of jihadists from the ISIS group overran it and much of the surrounding province of Nineveh.
Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki responded by asking parliament to declare a state of emergency to grant him greater powers.
The US said the development showed ISIS is a threat to the entire region.
US State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the situation in Mosul was "extremely serious" and that the US supported "a strong, co-ordinated response to push back against this aggression".
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "gravely concerned" at the situation.