Moscow, October 15 (GCCurrentAffairs) The US departments of state and energy have been discussing the possibility of withdrawing US nuclear weapons stockpile from the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, The New York Times reported.
The newspaper said on Monday citing unnamed sources that the departments were reviewing plans to evacuate roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons stored at the base, which is located around 100 miles from the Syrian border and has been long shared by US and Turkish air forces.
The report noted, citing a senior official, that the withdrawal would mean the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance.
The news come at the heels of deteriorating ties between the NATO allies over Turkey’s operation in northern Syria, which targets formerly US-backed Kurdish fighters. US President Donald Trump on Monday imposed sanctions against Turkey and called off a large trade deal, saying he was “fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”
Speaking to Sputnik last week, Turkish Vatan Party leader Dogu Perincek said “the best possible Turkish response to the US threats is … closure of the Incirlik base for the United States.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a cross-border offensive, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, on October 9 soon after Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from their bases in Syria. Turkey’s stated aim is to clear its border of Kurdish forces which it views as terrorists, and to establish a 20-mile buffer zone in northern Syria.