U.S. Reportedly Transferring Nukes from Turkey to Romania
With relations between Washington and Ankara worsening after last month's coup attempt, the United States has started moving nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania, EurActiv.com reported on Thursday, citing two independent sources.
A source has told the online media outlet that “the US-Turkey relations had deteriorated so much following the coup that Washington no longer trusted Ankara to host the weapons”.
According to that source, the U.S. were transferring nuclear weapons to Deveselu air base in Romania.
Another source has told EurActiv that the transfer of nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania is “very challenging in technical and political terms.”
EurActiv has sought comment from all the parties involved.
The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest has “strongly denied” the reported information about a transfer of U.S. nuclear weapons to Romania from Turkey, EurActiv said.
U.S. and Turkish oficials have promised to comment, EurAactiv said.
The U.S. is widely believed to hold nuclear weapons in Incirlik air base, in the southern part of NATO member Turkey, since the days of the Cold War. The U.S. has never admitted it houses such weapons at Incirlik.
The Turkish government cut power supply to Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey and closed the airspace above it within hours of the coup attempt on July 15. The Turkish commanders in Incirlik were later arrested for allegedly allowing at least one tanker aircraft to refuel in mid-air fighter jets used by the conspirators. The US and other NATO member states use Incirlik for ais strikes against the Islamic State group in neighbouring Iraq and Syria.
Relations between the U.S. and Turkey soured after the thwarted military coup attempt, with Ankara accusing Washington of involvement in the mutiny.
Turkey has requested the United States to grant a request for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt.
The United States has said that it must have evidence against Gulen in order to justify turning him over to Turkey.
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