On the dry mountain, the Yazidis fight with the goats for the remaining water. In the distance, the lights of Islamic State checkpoints loom menacingly. On Sunday, those stuck behind Islamic State lines began reporting the group's latest slaughter: hundreds of members of their arcane but colourful sect massacred for refusing to convert to Islam. On the mountain, the rumours from their relatives only added to the sense of panic and despair. One man, the only news reporter on Mount Sinjar, told me that jihadists had stormed through his village, killing every adult, healthy male. Others talked of hundreds of women being abducted. Reports came in elsewhere of women and children being buried alive. Meanwhile, the survivors on the mountain were fighting off thirst and disease.