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UN monitors call for action to stop 'genocide' of Yazidis

UN rights monitors urged international action to "avoid a mass atrocity and potential genocide within days of hours" of thousands of Yazidi people stranded on the Sinjah mountains, after fleeing from advancing Islamic State fighters.

"All possible measures must be taken urgently to avoid a mass atrocity and potential genocide within days or hours," UN minority rights expert Rita Izsak said, AFP reported.

"Civilians need to be protected on the ground and escorted out of situations of extreme peril," Izsak added.

"We are witnessing a tragedy of huge proportions unfolding, in which thousands of people are at immediate risk of death by violence or by hunger and thirst," the UN monitor on refugee rights, Chaloka Beyani said.

"Humanitarian aid must be delivered quickly and no efforts should be spared to protect all groups forcefully displaced by this conflict," he added.

The UN Secretary General also expressed concern, stating: "The plight of Yazidis and others on Mount Sinjar is especially harrowing. UN humanitarian personnel are in the area doing all what we can."

The US and UK continued their air drops of humanitarian aid on Tuesday to the Yazidi people, whilst US air strikes continued in order to stem the advance of IS fighters.

Eye witnesses reports describe thousands, including children and the elderly already dead however.