Below are notes emailed me by FNC’s Justin Fishel:
A few notable things from the off-camera gaggle this morning with Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren:
-The U.S. is still unable to independently confirm reports that 2 Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down today. We expect them to have something more later today.
-The Pentagon also would not confirm the Daily Beast report that Ukraine asked the US and NATO for radar jamming equipment a month ago that could have been used to stop anti-aircraft attacks. Warren acknowledged that Ukraine has asked for many different things and that the US continues to focus on non-lethal aid.
-The Pentagon says there are roughly 10 to 12 thousand Russian troops along the border with Ukraine.
-Warren announced that last week Secretary Hagel authorized an HHS request for the Defense Department to house an addition 5,000 illegal immigrant children and that he additionally authorized that the mission to house these children to extend through Jan 31 2015. Initially it was only a 4 month mission. Today there are 2500 children on DoD facilities at Fort Sill, Naval Base Ventura and Lackland Air Force Base. It’s not clear where the additional 5,000 will stay, they Pentagon is conducting assessments now to figure that out.
-Iraq update: there are now 825 U.S. troops in Iraq and 7 Navy ships in the Persian Gulf including the USS Bataan and the aircraft carrier George HW Bush. 250 of the 300 troops Obama authorized to go to Iraq are now in country.
Fox News Channel
Pentagon /State Dept. Producer