The US is reportedly moving nukes from Turkey to Romania amid rising tensions in Ukraine – and after a recent report warned that ISIS could steal the nukes in Turkey.
At least 50 tactical nukes are stored at the Incirlik Air Base about 70 miles from the Syrian border, and according to EurActiv, the US is moving at least 20 of them to Romania, which shares a border with Ukraine.
US officials have denied the claim, but recent developments reveal there’s credibility to the reported nuke transfer.
For one thing, Turkey is now considering military ties with Russia due to its deteriorating relationship with NATO.
“It seems to us that NATO members behave in an evasive fashion on issues such as the exchange of technology and joint investments,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Sputnik, a Russian news outlet. “Turkey intends to develop its own defense industry and strengthen its defense system.”
“In this sense, if Russia were to treat this with interest, we are ready to consider the possibility of cooperation in this sector.”
Additionally, the Pentagon is claiming that nearly 40,000 Russian troops are massing on Russia’s border with Ukraine, including armored vehicles, tanks and fighter jets.
And the nukes stored in Turkey are at risk of being stolen by ISIS, according to a report by the Stimson Center.
“From a security point of view, it’s a roll of the dice to continue to have approximately 50 of America’s nuclear weapons stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey,” said report co-author Laicie Heeley. “There are significant safeguards in place… but safeguards are just that, they don’t eliminate risk.”
“In the event of a coup, we can’t say for certain that we would have been able to maintain control.”
The US has already evacuated the dependents of US service members from the base, the report pointed out, so why wouldn’t the nukes also get transferred?