After weeks of speculation about the security of US tactical nuclear weapons inside Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, reports are emerging that the US is in the process of moving the weapons to Deveselu, in Romania.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry has “strongly denied” that this was the case, while the US Air Force refused to make specific comments on the matter, saying it was “speculation.” The reports broke at Euractiv, which only mentioned “more than 20” weapons. Previous reports have suggested the US had as many as 50 weapons there.
A report earlier this week cautioned that the weapons are at risk of seizure so long as they remain in Turkey, just 70 miles from the Syrian border. Several former officials have noted that the weapons have no practical utility, and are simply a liability these days.
The redeployment of the weapons to Romania is said to have “enraged Russia,” in as much as it is bringing those arms closer to the Russian frontier. They are not, however, believed to amount to any change in the balance of power in the region, since the weapons are virtually unusable without risking an escalation to full-scale nuclear war.