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US Considering Ways To Remove B61 Nuclear Bombs From Incirlik Air Base, Turkey: US Media

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US Considering Ways To Remove B61 Nuclear Bombs From Incirlik Air Base, Turkey: US Media

Click to see full-size image

The US is allegedly looking into ways to remove 50 B61 nuclear gravity bombs that it keeps in the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.

This, expectedly, is a result of the Turkish advance on Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria, and the US attempts to disown responsibility for abandoning the Kurdish and being the underlying reason for the entire debacle.

The NYT  reported that officials from the Pentagon and from the US Department of Energy were looking into what exactly to do with the B61 bombs at Incirlik.

These bombs were a serious concern in the past as well, especially in 2016 during the alleged coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

US Considering Ways To Remove B61 Nuclear Bombs From Incirlik Air Base, Turkey: US Media

Incirlik Air Base, back in 2015. Click to see full-size image

There are also conspiracy theories that the US played a part in the failed coup, and there’ve been calls in Turkey for investigations into American military personnel and raids onto the American portions of the base to collect evidence.

According to various estimates, there may be from 35 to 50 nuclear weapons that have been stored there since the Cold War.

The reason for the interest in moving nuclear weapons from Turkey is commonplace – the introduction of very stringent sanctions against Turkey, both ordered by Trump and likely incoming from the US Congress, is likely to lead to the closure of Incirlik base for use by the US military.

Furthermore, the alleged shelling near the US base near Kobani, Syria also makes US officials worry that the first country to host US nuclear weapons is actually targeting US forces indiscriminately. Regardless of how true it is.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek would not answer questions about possible nuclear weapons at Incirlik and whether they would be moved in an email.

“The mission of the 39th [Air Base Wing at Incirlik] is to provide persistent surety and continuous air operations for the U.S., our allies and our partners and helps protect U.S. and NATO interests in the Southern Region by providing a responsive and operational air base ready to project integrated, forward-based airpower,” Stefanek said.

An unnamed senior official reportedly told the Times that the weapons “were now essentially [Turkish President Recep] Erdogan’s hostages” since removing the weapons would effectively spell the end of America’s alliance with Turkey, but keeping them there would leave them vulnerable.

Former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James would not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons there. But she speculated what would be done if anything had to be done with the bombs.

If the Air Force found a new nation willing to host the nukes, James said, it would have to take “the greatest of care” in their removal and transport. If the receiving base did not have the facilities or security necessary, James said, it would require a significant construction effort. And NATO would likely be involved.

“Any time nuclear weapons are moved from point A to point B, it is a major logistical challenge,” James said. “The security is enormous that goes with this.”

The topic is already being discussed in full in Turkish media in the context of the fact that Turkey will not bend and respond to sanctions harshly, including by closing the Incirlik air base for US aviation.

During the Obama administration, the US mulled the idea of removing the nuclear bombs from Turkey, but then Ankara said that, if that were the case, then it could strive to become a nuclear power itself.

The current cooling of relations between the US and Turkey could potentially lead to Ankara returning the acquisition of nuclear weapons of its own back on the agenda. That is more than likely why the situation of taking the B61 nuclear gravity bombs out of the country is most complicated, and it doesn’t specifically come down to technical means or the financial cost of such an operation.


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Uncle Meat

Are they not allowed to operate from, to and fro, their own military base (I understand it is a joint mil base shared with Turkey, either way). Seems suspicious.

Ivan Grozny

Give them sanctions – as Washi$ton is considering – and Turkey could tell the U$ that the base is off limits. There was that situation, during the failed coup, where a general was hiding amongst the U$ troops – very, very nasty for the U$-Turk ‘relations’

Angelo Cinarelli

Close that Base e put all these bombs into the american ass.


The Great Butter Battle.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

how funny would it be if erdogan gave some or all to iran or russia?

Martin Benitez

that makes no sense iran and russia are at odds with turkey turkey is fighting proky wars on the opposite side of russia in syria and libya people just wanted to say turkey is falling in with russia over buying weapons forgeting the two almost went to war a few years ago and were sanctuning eachother

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

U dont get humor do u? Or are you just not that bright


you don’t keep up with what goes on – for one thing, russia, turkey and ran are in close cooperation and turkey’s incursion into syria is for no other reason than to finish off pkk and other turkish hostile kurdish groups and once that is done, turkey will be back behind its own border, the kurds back as tenants in the borderland and syria restored to its old geographical borders. the israeli side lost (i.e. the unhinged states of A, saudi arabia, and the uae) and it’s now a question how the enemies of israel will act considering to the mayhem and destruction israel has caused to the winning side of turkey, iran, syria, iraq and lebanon. in my mind a complete wipe out of the squatters seems about right.

Martin Benitez

you dont keep up turks online been saying that for long time and the turkish troops still wont leave the north west if thats what turkey was gona do theyd have turned northern allepo over to the goverment after that operation and turned afrin over after that one but they dont and they are against any move in to idlib turkey is the bigest supporter of these groups isreal has no involvment out side of small number of stupid airstrikes on iran or hezzbollah targets and wanting the south not to be taken back there not involved in the north at all its turkey who wont stop the kurds gona join the goverment so why keep attacking cause turkey wants to control that area ur ignoring what has been actualy ocurring on the ground for years turkey refuses to leave the north west and they wouldnt leave the north east after taking it from kurds the goverment knows this thats why there helping the kurds against turkey

Sage Durham

I’m not sure about Turkey’s allegiance. Time will tell. Turkey might be playing a delicate balancing act between NATO/israel/US, it’s own expansive ideals & Russia/Iran/Syria/Hezbollah. I really don’t know where Turkey leans.


Great idea! This would cut down on Iran’s time on enriching uranium, which is in very short supply there. And it save Iran a lot of design work and money. You are thinking outside of the box! :D


How about sending the bombs to the Knesset by priority airmail ?


yep that’s one good use right away.


You mean sending them.. ON.. the knesset…

Bill Wilson

Those nukes are on carts so the USAF will just roll them inside some C-5A transports and strap ’em down before flying to another NATO base in a friendly country.

Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

I don’t think erdogan is going to let them go that easily


Well, that rules out Turkey!


and you think that turkey just would let them be rolled out from a turkey airbase, used by the americans, but still chiefly a turkish airbase with far more turkish soldiers and so on than americans. don’t think so!


Looks like turkey is now a nuclear power.

jim crowland

dont remove them, put them up the ass of the ottomans since they are nearby


It’s always a good idea to keep a bombing mission short range. Much safer for the aircraft and saves on fuel cost.


the shit can hit the fan and if you are in the same room…..


So what your suggesting amounts to the effective nuclear devastation of US’ own base and aviation corps inside of Turkey. You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed.


yep, erdogan should keep them, hold on to them for dear life, and use them when the showdown with israel takes place – i.e. israel to understand that if it even thinks the thought of using theirs, they will be drowned by these america made nukes and the iron dome will be the iron doooooom kabooom and israel finito – what better use could these nukes be put to!

cechas vodobenikov

again the Americans demonstrate their myopic incompetence—thry r experts at making friends into enemies…fake people produce a fake nation…the empire will collapse in the next decade (Galtung)


Pentagon and from the US Department of Energy were looking into what exactly to do with the B61 bombs at Incirlik.

israel usually just drops expired ammo over the fence so is not their problem… so…..

Mal Akas

There is no such thing as nuclear bombs

Brian Michael Bo Pedersen

I would not be surprised if the bombs got placed in Denmark (despite our constitution says they cant, but nobody cares; Thule), Norway or some of the baltic countries.

The nukes would be a very good reason why the US military should have a strong and agressive force in the host country/area, so placing them in danger justifies the above.

Ivan Grozny

Better still – do like all the other RESPONSIBLE nuclear states does – and keep them at home! (On purpose do I exclude the small illegal state near the dead sea – they are unpredictable)


Gradual de-nuclearisation of the Middle East would be a welcome move. The US’ part in the ‘coup’ are speculations, not CThs. The overuse of the latter word is tiring. Please be more accurate. If there had been US collusion in the coup, which is possible, it was to *strengthen* Erdogan. I.e. playing both sides, on the one feigning support for the coup members and on the other informing Erdogan exactly on what was going to happen.

Sasan Jamshidi

Remove Turkey From Nato! Let themselves buy their weapons if they can!


are you friggin stupid or not – turkey is the eastern most part of nato and thus the singularly most important member after the unhinged states of A and nato without turkey is devalued by about 75 pct, think black sea, think bosporous, oh sorry forgot, you can’t think. – missing brain I understand!


Better move them before the Ottomans auction them to N Korea, Pakistan or other Highest Bidder.

Xoli Xoli

For years that this bombs were stored in Turkey give Turkey the legitimate right to take over the ownership.Or else this bomb are going no where.The best option 8s to test it on USA bases and Israel.

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