Does the US plan to remove nuclear weapons from Turkey?

US President Donald Trump reaches to shake Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hand before a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 21, 2017 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON DC – Professor of Political Science Jana Jabbour commented on the likelihood that the US would withdraw its allegedly present nuclear weapons in Turkey as relations between the two countries worsened.

Since Turkey began its operation Fountain of Peace in Syria, the country has been the target of international criticism and risks being isolated.

Among the countries unhappy with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policy are the United States. Washington has threatened Ankara with sanctions, although relations between Turkey and the US are longstanding.

According to the US newspaper The New York Times, the US would be planning to withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons allegedly present in Turkey.

Commenting on the subject, Jana Jabbour, professor of political science at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, France, explained the complexity of the subject in an interview with Sputnik International.

According to Jana, the weapons that would be stored at Turkey’s Incirlik air base play a major role in the Middle East.

“The nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Base can be used at any time against Iran in the event of a surprise war between the US and the Persian country,” Jabbour said.

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In this way, the US should keep these weapons in place due to tensions between Tehran and Washington.

“Given the strategic importance of Incirlik Air Base and the importance of these weapons in the context of a potential war in the Middle East, I very much doubt that the United States will remove or reinstall these nuclear weapons,” she explained.

In addition, weaponry would be seen as a support for the defense of US allies in the region.

“These weapons can also serve as a security guarantee for neighboring [Turkey] Israel,” Jabbour added.

NATO without Turkey?

According to the scholar, Erdogan’s speech against the West should not be seen as a sign that the country wants to exit NATO.

“He [Erdogan] will continue on the path of criticism of the West, particularly the United States, for betraying Turkey and abandoning it at crucial moments, compromising the security of the country. But by no means would Erdogan consider a departure of Turkey from NATO,” he added.

At the same time, the use of such weapons in a Middle East conflict would be too dangerous, according to Jana Jabbour. The use of nuclear artifacts in a local conflict could start a full-scale total war in the Middle East, the professor believes.

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