U.S. to send precision rockets to Ukraine

STORY: "They have the right, as a sovereign nation, to defend their territory. They didn't start this war, the Russians did."

The Pentagon's top policy advisor Colin Kahl said the US will send four high mobility artillery rocket systems to Ukraine - weapons that can accurately hit targets 50 miles away.

They are part of President Joe Biden's new $700 million weapons package to help fight the Russian invasion, along with a host of other military equipment.

KAHL: "Five counter-artillery radars, two air surveillance radars, 1,000 additional Javelins, 50 command-launch units, 6,000 anti-armor weapons, 15,000 155 millimeter artillery rounds, four Mi-17 helicopters, 15 tactical vehicles and spare parts and equipment."

The White House announced the plan to give Ukraine precision HIMARS rocket systems after receiving assurances from Kyiv that it would not use them to hit targets inside Russian territory, in an effort to avoid escalating the war.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US officials are taking Ukraine at their word.

"The Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory. There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the United States as well as with our allies and partners. I'd also say that throughout this aggression, indeed, even before, President Biden was very clear with President Putin about what the United States would do if Russia proceeded with its aggression, including continuing to provide security assistance that Ukraine needs to defend itself against the Russian aggression."

But Russia slammed the move, accusing the United States of adding ‘fuel to the fire’ by supplying Ukraine with advanced rockets, and said it did not trust that Kyiv won't fire them into Russia.

The announcement came as Russian forces fought their way into the center of the Ukrainian industrial city of Sievierodonetsk Wednesday and appeared to be close to claiming a big prize in their offensive in the eastern Donbas region.