Iraq's Kurdish peshmerga fighters to fly to Turkey, en route to Syrian town of Kobani

A spokesman for Iraq's Kurdish peshmerga fighters says dozens of them will fly to Turkey and from there cross into the Syrian border town of Kobani.

The spokesman, Halgurd Hekmat, says the peshmerga fighters will leave the city of Irbil, in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, later on Tuesday.

Last week, the local Iraqi Kurdish government authorized the peshmerga forces to go to neighboring Syria and help fellow Kurds combat Islamic State militants in Kobani.

A total of 150 peshmerga fighters were authorized to go to Kobani through Turkey.

The Islamic State group launched its offensive on Kobani and nearby villages in mid-September. The fighting has killed more than 800 people, according to activists.

The extremists captured dozens of Kurdish villages around Kobani and now also control parts of the town.