No combat troops to Iraq: Obama
in the conflict, the top UN human rights official urged that all feasible precautions be taken to spare civilians from the effects of hostilities, and to respect, protect and meet the basic needs of civilian populations.
"I am extremely concerned about the acute vulnerability of civilians caught in the cross-fire, or targeted in direct attacks by armed groups, or trapped in areas under the control of ISIL and their allies," Pillay said. "And I am especially concerned about the risk to vulnerable groups, minorities, women and children."
She also said humanitarian access and the safety of aid workers are a "prominent concern given the unpredictable nature of ISIL, and the manner in which it creates insecure and volatile environments, which hinder access and the delivery of humanitarian assistance."
Local authorities said 300,000 people have sought shelter in the Erbil and Duhok governorates of Iraq's Kurdistan region, many arriving with little more than the clothes they are wearing.
The UN refugee agency ( UNHCR) reported today that a shortage of shelter is a key challenge for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who fled. "Many people have no money and nowhere to go," UNHCR said in a news release. The UN agency is working with the government and other partners to pitch tents and provide relief items such as plastic sheets and hygiene kits. UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said the rate of new arrivals to the Kurdistan region has slowed over the last day or so, but "the situation remains fluid with fighting continuing on several fronts and further displacement could take place."