In the European mass-media there were messages that the USA have started to transfer their nuclear weapons stationed on Turkish Incirlik air base in Romania on the Deveselu base, which recently became one of the elements of the us missile defense in Europe. How plausible version of “the Romanian route? Could it be due to the movement of nuclear weapons with a cooling in relations between Washington and Ankara?
The United States began to translate stationed in Turkey, nuclear weapons in Romania against the background of deteriorating relations with Ankara. With this statement on Thursday made the publication EurActiv, citing its own sources. “It’s not so simple – carry more than twenty nuclear weapons”, – the source added on condition of anonymity.
“Turkey’s cooling of relations with the United States facing serious challenges in the security sphere”
The representative of the Romanian foreign Ministry was quick to refute reports about the movement of U.S. nuclear weapons on the territory of the country. However, this denial may be due to the unwillingness of Bucharest to advertise the fact a possible operation.
EurActiv cites a recent report from the American research, the Stimson Center (Stimson Center), according to which since the cold war about 50 units of tactical nuclear weapons the United States was posted on the Turkish Incirlik air base, which is shared by the Turkish air force and the United States.
According to the source of the portal EurActiv, American arms move to the Deveselu air base in Romania. It should be recalled that on may 12 on this basis, in the South of Romania, earned the first object of a missile defense system of NATO in Eastern Europe.
As for the airbase in Incirlik, located relatively close to the Turkish-Syrian border, it is known to be used by aircraft of the US and its coalition partners for strikes against terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
“Like playing the lottery”
Note that in the above-mentioned report, the Stimson Center mentioned: US nuclear weapons stored in the Turkish base of Incirlik, near the border with Syria, could fall into the hands of terrorists and other enemy forces”. “Could the US keep control of around 50 nuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs B61)… in a protracted civil conflict in Turkey, is a question that can be answered”, – the document says.
According to one of the authors of the report Lacey Healy, from the point of view of security to continue to store about 50 units of us nuclear weapons at Incirlik air base in Turkey to just over 100 kilometers from the border with Syria is like “playing the lottery”.
“This weapon has no practical value on the European battlefield, and today, has more to do with liabilities than assets of our allies in NATO,” – said Healy.
Games around the base
During the failed coup in Turkey in July, the Turkish government banned flights of us aircraft to the base in Incirlik and with her. The head of the base General Bekir Ercan Wang was arrested on charges of complicity to an attempt of seizure of power.
As reported by the New York Times, General turned to us officials to help him obtain asylum in the United States, but he was denied.
Unanswered remains the question, could the US keep control over these weapons in the event of a protracted civil conflict in Turkey.
In media appeared reports that the response to Washington’s refusal to extradite Turkish opposition leader and Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen (who Ankara accuses of organizing the coup of 15-16 July) may be closing for Americans to Incirlik. The Swiss newspaper L’hebdo recently noted: the US, where hiding “sworn enemy” of Erdogan, the organizer of the failed coup, Fethullah gülen, should try to avoid tensions with the Turkish leader. Americans “don’t want to risk his huge, located near the Turkish-Syrian border, the military air base of Incirlik”.
After a noticeable thaw in relations between Moscow and Ankara in early July, reports surfaced that Turkey could give Russia permission to use the airbase. It was alleged that the head of the Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has not ruled out granting such permission for operations against the terrorist group “Islamic state*”. However, he Cavusoglu hastened to deny these messages.
“Turkey is dissatisfied with US policy in Syria”
Expert-the expert Alexander Sotnichenko notes that fully trust the appearance of the information on the movement of arms from Turkey to Romania is not worth it. But if it is true, then the reason is in Turkish foreign policy, which over the past few months has been sharply anti-American. US nuclear weapons appeared in Turkey in the fifties, when the government made a bet on cooperation with the US and membership in NATO.
“The last time this cooling of relations was in 1974 during the Cyprus crisis. Turkey is dissatisfied with US policy in Syria, as Americans as the main ally chosen there by the Syrian Kurds, who are politically very close to the Kurdistan workers ‘ party (Ankara considers the activity of the party to a terrorist). In General it will negatively affect the security situation in South-Eastern Turkey,” Sotnichenko said the newspaper VIEW.
The expert reminded that the Turks did not manage to negotiate with the United States about support for the Kurds, that’s why now relations are at a very low level. Plus, he notes, the situation was affected by the factor of the military coup. The Turkish authorities almost directly accusing the US of involvement in it.
“If the information is about the removal of nuclear weapons is true, it means that a number of American officials and military personnel were seriously worried about the fact that Turkey can somehow reduce the profile of cooperation with the US and NATO”, – the expert believes.
Meanwhile Sotnichenko stressed that if Turkey would benefit from the withdrawal of us weapons from the territory of the country, in this case, the authorities could organize a series of pickets to cover this topic in the press. “But still on the subject of silence. Turkey’s cooling of relations with the United States face serious problems in the sphere of security, because the vast majority of the weapons and military technology comes from US. In the USA trained most of the Turkish officers. Turkey, if she took the path of confrontation with Washington, do you need to think about alternatives,” – said the analyst.
“In Romania there is a specially equipped base”
In turn, the military expert, retired Colonel Viktor murakhovski believes the message about the transfer of nuclear weapons on the Romanian Deveselu base outright stuffing.
“In order to believe this message you know nothing about the order of storage, movement and control over nuclear weapons. In Romania there is simply no specially equipped for the storage of such weapons bases. If the US really took this decision, the transfer would be carried out on the already prepared base in Europe, such as Germany, Italy, Belgium,” – said the expert newspaper VIEW.
Meanwhile murakhovski believes that in the near future the States may decide on the removal of nuclear weapons from Turkish territory. “The Americans will be guided not so much by political considerations as by considerations of basic security. Turkey in recent years has become much more unstable. The proximity of the Syrian border, continuing attacks, the recent military rebellion make storage on Turkish territory weapons of mass destruction unsafe,” – said the military expert.
In addition, Murakhovsky recalls that after the revolt in Turkey there was a sweep in the military, which cooperated with the Americans in this matter. It is also, in his opinion, may affect the decision on the transfer.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”