Erdogan Holding 50 US Tactical Nukes ‘Hostage’ As Trump Authorizes Sanctions

Erdogan Holding 50 US Tactical Nukes ‘Hostage’ As Trump Authorizes Sanctions from ZeroHedge

Amid all the media and pundit outrage since Turkey’s President Erdogan launched his so-called ‘Operation Peace Spring’ into northeast Syria last week, vowing to wipe out Syrian Kurdish forces who’ve long held the border areas, what’s been largely missing is acknowledgement of the uncomfortable fact that NATO ally Turkey has long hosted a major portion of America’s nuclear Cold War-era arsenal stored across Europe.

And as Erdogan threatens to “open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants” to Europe while under increased international criticism for the rapidly rising civilian death toll in Syria, The New York Times reports the following bombshell Monday: some 50 US tactical nukes are “now essentially Erdogan’s hostages”.

The Times cites growing alarm by top State and Energy Dept. officials over what the publication likens as a “disastrous” and confusing break from US policy in northern Syria, given not only further expected destabilization in the region, but worsening and unpredictable ties with Erdogan’s Turkey, given Trump is now preparing to sign into effect severe sanctions with the aim of attempting to “limit” his military incursion.

According to the report:

And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.

Turkey is among a handful of European NATO allies which play host to the extensive US nuclear arsenal on European soil  a remnant and continuation of the historic Cold War build-up — when Washington was locked in battle to deter Soviet expansion in Europe, which also allowed US allies to not have to pursue their own nukes.

The further irony in all this is that Incirlik Air Base is precisely where during the opening years of the war in Syria, US intelligence and military officials teamed up with their Turkish counterparts to wage proxy war against Assad, which involved fueling the jihadist insurgency which birthed the very groups now slaughtering Syrian Kurds and Christians in the country’s northeast.

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