Thousands of Iraqi refugees have streamed across the border into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the north of Iraq since radicalized militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have swept across nearby Mosul.
CNBC on Tuesday witnessed about 2,000 civilians who had fled to a United Nations camp hastily arranged at Kalak, Iraq, about 20 miles east of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.
ISIS forces took Mosul after two Iraqi government army divisions abandoned the city last week.
The UN estimates that several hundred thousand Iraqis have been displaced by fighting in Iraq, where in recent days ISIS militants swept over Mosul and moved south toward Baghdad.
The Iraqi capital is held by Iraqi regular troops and Shite gunmen, but ISIS is believed to have infiltrated Baghdad. A car bomb killed at least seven civilians Tuesday in a mostly Shiite neighborhood there.
—CNBC's Ted Kemp contributed to this report.