How safe are US nukes in Turkey?
Washington (CNN)As Turkey deals with the fallout of a failed coup, the country’s fragility and proximity to Islamic terrorism have raised questions about the safety of US nuclear weapons stationed there.
Most experts believe that the US maintains 50 nuclear weapons in Turkey housed at the US air base at Incirlik. The weapons are Cold War-era B-61 “gravity” bombs.“It’s an open secret” the bombs are at Incirlik, Joshua Walker of the German Marshall Fund, who specializes on US-Turkey relations, told CNN.Turkish authorities encircled the base, cut off the power supply and temporary closed the airspace around Incirlik as they fought off the coup launched on Friday.
Incirlik, a joint US-Turkish air base, was established in the 1950s in southeastern Turkey. The base has played a critical role in the fight against ISIS, as the US launches strikes into nearby Syria.While the Pentagon will not publicly confirm the presence of nuclear weapons at Incirlik, US officials are saying all American weapons in Turkey remain safely in US hands.“We’ve taken all those steps that we need to take to make sure that everything that we control in Turkey is safe and secure,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Monday.There is also no indication that US military personnel or technical experts from the Department of Energy went to Turkey to provide further oversight for the weapons or to move them outside of Turkey due to concerns about their security. – READ MORE