Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

B-61 nuclear bombs

A frontal view of four B-61 nuclear free-fall bombs on a bomb cart. (DoD photo)

Turkey: US Air Base, Nuclear Bombs Surrounded By Citizens, Troops & Trucks

Is it a good idea to have nuclear weapons stored in Turkey at this point?

Common Dreams staff

Thousands of Turkish troops, citizens and police ‘surrounded’ the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States Saturday night — blocking all entrances to the air base with heavy vehicles and security forces sent to secure its perimeter.

Turkish authorities restored access to and from the key US air base early Sunday, local media reported, the day the U.S. top military official is scheduled to visit the country and tour the base.

The Incirlik air base, located in an urban neighborhood in the southern Turkey city of Adana, reopened following a meeting with "security officials." Incirlik air base is used by US and NATO forces to launch air strikes and drone attacks on Syria and Iraq. The US stores an estimated 50 hydrogen nuclear bombs at the air base.

7,000 troops and police used armored cars and large trucks to block the gates earlier Sunday following intelligence that raised suspicion another coup was being plotted following the failed July 15th coup, Ihlas News Agency reported. The blockade lasted four hours, the agency said.

 

 

After the July 15th coup attempt, the Washington Post reported:

(Pentagon Press Secretary Peter) Cook declined to address a question about whether it is a good idea to have nuclear weapons stored in Turkey at this point.

“We’ve taken all those steps that we need to take to make sure that everything that we control in Turkey is safe and secure,” he said, after declining to discuss specifics about “strategic assets” like the the nuclear weapons.

The B61 bombs in storage at Incirlik are designed to be carried on a variety of high-speed jets, including the F-15E Strike Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Each bomb is typically just under 12 feet long and weighs about 700 pounds, according to U.S. military specifications. They are stored in underground storage vaults inside aircraft hangars, and use control devices known as Permissive Action Links that make them difficult to use without authorization.

A US B-61 nuclear bomb

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford is due to fly in for an inspection tour of the air base later today. He is also expected to hold talks with the Turkish government in Ankara.

 

 

 

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'On Her Way Home': WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed in US-Russia Prisoner Swap

"Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner," said U.S. President Joe Biden. "She is safe. She is on a plane."

Jessica Corbett ·


Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·


Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·


Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo