Nuclear Weapons Being Moved from Incirlik Air Base to Romania: Sources say.
August 18, 2016
TRUNEWS has learned through several media sources that nuclear missiles that are housed at the Incirlik Air Base in Ankara, Turkey, may be in the process of being moved from there to a base in Romania.
Two independent sources told EurActiv.com that the US has started transferring nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, against the background of worsening relations between Washington and Ankara.
According to one of the sources, the transfer has been very challenging in technical and political terms.
“It’s not easy to move 20+ nukes,” said the source, on conditions of anonymity.
According to a recent report by the Simson Center, since the Cold War, some 50 US tactical nuclear weapons have been stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, approximately 100 kilometres from the Syrian border.
During the failed coup in Turkey in July, Incirlik’s power was cut, and the Turkish government prohibited US aircraft from flying in or out. Eventually, the base commander was arrested and implicated in the coup. Whether the US could have maintained control of the weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey is an unanswerable question, the report says.
US-Turkey relations have deteriorated so much following the coup that Washington no longer trusts Ankara to host the weapons. The American weapons are being moved to the Deveselu air base in Romania, the source said.
Deveselu, near the city of Caracal, is the new home of the US missile shield, which has infuriated Russia.
Media sources have asked the US State Department, and the Turkish and the Romanian foreign ministries, to comment. American and Turkish representatives have promised to answer. After several hours, the State Department said the issue should be referred to the Department of Defense. will publish the DoD reaction as soon as it is received.
In the meantime, NATO sent media a diplomatically worded comment which implies that allies must make sure that US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe remain “safe”.
“On your question, please check the Communiqué of the NATO Warsaw Summit (published on 9 July 2016), paragraph 53: “NATO’s nuclear deterrence posture also relies, in part, on United States’ nuclear weapons forward-deployed in Europe and on capabilities and infrastructure provided by Allies concerned. These Allies will ensure that all components of NATO’s nuclear deterrent remain safe, secure, and effective,” a NATO spokesperson wrote to EurActiv.
The NATO summit took place a few days before the failed coup in Turkey. At that time, the risks for the US nukes in Incirlik were related to the proximity of the war in Syria and the multiple terrorist attacks that have taken place in Turkey in recent months. For some of the attacks, Ankara blamed Islamic State, and for others the PKK, the Kurdish military organisation that appears on the EU and US terrorist lists.
Article by Doc Burkhart, Vice-President, General Manager and co-host of TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles.
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