Turkey ‘Effectively Holding 50 US Nuclear Bombs Hostage’ Amid Syria Assault
U.S. officials have warned that Turkey is effectively holding hostage an estimated 50 nuclear bombs belonging to the United States, according to The Independent.
President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops remaining in the region in early October, making way for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch an attack against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces.
But apart from the situation facing Kurds in the region, Trump’s decision also led to “the tumultuous decline of relations between the two countries,” The Independent noted, leaving “administration officials scrambling to find a plan for the nuclear weapons stored under American control at the shared Incirlik Air Base in south east Turkey.”
Officials from the Departments of State and Energy, which manage the country’s nuclear arsenal, met over the weekend to figure out “how they might retrieve an estimated fifty tactical nuclear weapons held at the site.”
One official told The New York Times that Erdogan is essentially holding the weapons hostage — a situation that arose after the Turkish leader said it was “unacceptable” that Turkey is not allowed to obtain nuclear weapons itself.