The United Nations envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, says the conflict in neighboring Syria is intensifying terrorism and sectarian tensions in Iraq.
Mladenov told the Security Council that settling the Syrian conflict and adopting a regional strategy to counter extremism "are vital to bringing stability" to Iraq.
The Bulgarian former minister noted that more than 200,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict have come to Iraq, most of them in the Kurdistan region.
He added that the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and the deadlock among Iraqi politicians are being exploited by armed extremists who are trying to incite sectarian conflict.
The UN estimates that between July and October nearly 9,000 Iraqi civilians and members of the security forces were killed in attacks, many of them blamed on sectarian extremists.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP