Will the US be moving its nuclear weapons out of Turkey?

US media report that amid the events in Syria, Washington is considering plans and working out options for moving nuclear weapons from the Turkish Incirlik airbase to another country.

According to various estimates, there may be 35 - 50 nuclear weapons that have been stored there since the Cold War.

The reason for the interest in moving nuclear weapons from Turkey - the introduction of very stringent sanctions against Turkey ( there are two sanction packages coming Turkey's way -- one from Trump personally and another from the US Congress) is likely to lead to the closure of Incirlik base for use by the US Air Force

In addition, the Americans can't forget the shelling of the American base in the Kobani region and some US politicians connecting this topic to the issue of nuclear weapons in Turkey, saying how the country can be allowed to host American nuclear weapons after they (Turks) attacked the American forces (Democrats predictably are not letting this topic go )

At the same time, this topic is already being discussed in full in Turkish media in the context of the fact that Turkey will not bend and will respond to sanctions harshly, including by closing the Incirlik airbase for US aviation.

Naturally, if American aviation cannot use the airbase, then storing nuclear weapons there does not make sense.

In addition, during the Obama administration, when plans were being discussed to move nuclear bombs from Turkey, Turkey responded that if the Americans take their nuclear weapons out of Turkey, then Turkey would begin to strive for the status of nuclear power. (Will look for a way to acquire nuclear weapons of their own)

Therefore, the question quickly died out. Now it's is on the agenda again, due to another cold snap in US-Turkish relations. And the question here is not even about the money for moving and building the facilities in other US dependent countries (although this is also an expensive pleasure), but that this situation may provoke Turkey’s desire of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Of course, this is a worst-case scenario, but the current dynamics of US-Turkish relations do not exclude the possibility that Incirlik will be closed to the United States. A lot will become clear in the next couple of weeks when 2 sanction packages are slapped on Turkey and Turkey will begin to take countermeasures.

(c) Colonel Cassad

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