In pictures: Exodus of Yazidis

Thousands of people from the Yazidi religious community have sought refuge on the arid heights of Mount Sinjar, close to the Syrian border.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate.

Some of the displaced Yazidis managed to escape across the Syrian border by foot, fleeing violence from the Islamic State militants who have taken over their home town of Sinjar.

Who, What, Why: Who are the Yazidis?

A displaced Iraqi boy from the Yazidi community eats a piece of bread and holds a bottle of water as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on 11 August 2014.

Officials for the Kurdish regional government say some 20,000 to 30,000 managed to cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the weekend.

Video: The Yazidi families fleeing for their lives

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp at Derike, Syria, on 10 August 2014. Kurdish authorities at the border believe some 45,000 Yazidis passed the river crossing in the past week and thousands more are still stranded in the mountains.

The UK and US have carried out air drops of food and water supplies into Mount Sinjar to alleviate the suffering of the Yazidi refugees there.

A displaced woman and child from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, rest as they make their way towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate on 10 August 2014.

Many fled their homes in a hurry and lack the food and water supplies to survive several days on the rocky mountain range in temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius.

Children from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, make their way towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate August 10, 2014

The UN says over 50 Yazidi children have died of dehydration.

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Iraqi-Syrian border along the Fishkhabur bridge over the Tigris River at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on 11 August 2014.

Those who left the mountain transited through Syria over the Tigris river and crossed back into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Syria-Iraq border at the Feeshkhabour bridge over Tigris River at Feeshkhabour border point, in northern Iraq, on 11 August 2014.

Some families were separated as they fled in panic from their homes, with many not knowing the fate of their loved ones left behind.

Peshmerga forces hand out water bottles to displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on 11 August 2014.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces were on hand to deliver bottles of water to thirsty arrivals at the Fishkhabur crossing in northern Iraq.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, ride a truck as they make their way towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate on 10 August 2014.

Trucks and vehicles jam packed full of Yazidis were seen inching across the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, ride in the trunk of a car as they make their way towards the Syrian border, on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate on 10 August 2014.

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