Hundreds of people gathered in central London on Saturday, calling for action to protect the people of Sinjar from attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, formerly known as Isis.

The demonstrators urged the UK government to assist the Yazidi people and put diplomatic pressure on states such as Turkey and Qatar for their policy of supporting jihadism in the region.

Speaking at the protest in London, Julie Lenarz, executive director for London-based foreign policy think-tank the Human Security Centre, described the government's response to the violence as "incoherent".

She said: "Unopposed, mass atrocity crimes - ranging from crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing to forthright genocide - will continue to be committed by ISIS.

"The Iraqi government has proven unable to fulfil its responsibility to protect and the West's response has been incoherent and fragmented at best. A limited aid and surveillance mission is not an adequate response to the crime of all crimes."

Isis linked terrorists are carrying out a wholesale massacre against the Kurdish people and other ethnic and religious groups including members of the Shia, Sufi, Christian and Yezidi communities.

Maajid Nawaz, chairman of Quilliam, a London-based think tank that focuses on counter-extremism, urged people to "express the outrage we all feel towards ISIS and their barbaric actions. I also hope our government does all it can to support the victims of ISIS as well as those on the ground who are fighting against them."

Ranja Faraj, a board member for campaign group Solidarity against ISIS (SAIS), said the group believes the international community should arm the Kurdish forces. "The Kurds are fighting with Soviet-era weapons, and ISIS terrorists have been armed by the Iraqi army after they abandoned their weapons . . . they are all American funded weapons," Faraj told Asharq Al-Awsat.