A massive fire erupted near a NATO base in the Buca district, near Izmir, Turkey. The fire broke out on Sunday evening in western Turkey. The fire blew through the grassy wooded area and is now perilously near NATO’s military base pushed forward by strong winds.
The NATO base in proximity to the inferno is Allied Land Command (LANDCOM), the standing headquarters for NATO land forces in the region. The Commander LANDCOM is the prime land warfare advisor to the Alliance. From its Wikipedia page we learn that "when directed by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, it provides the core of the headquarters responsible for the conduct of land operations. The command is based at Sirinyer (Buca), ?zmir in Turkey.
According to CNN Turk, the fire is threatening a number of populated areas, and has already impacted a home for the elderly and its adjacent garden.
?zmir Buca'da ki Yang?n Kontrol Alt?na Al?nam?yor!— Göztepe Life (@GoztepeLife) July 24, 2016
?hmal+Sabotaj:?zmir Yan?yor! pic.twitter.com/9byk2Onamn
In a surprising twist, local authorities are investigating the fire as a possible act of anti-American sabotage.
The fire erupted shortly after Erdogan's leading Islamist paper headline officially targeted a US commander as coup leader adding his name & picture, in what local commentators dubbed as an "all out war" by Erdogan on the US.
It remains to be seen if anti-US sentiment in Turkey - allegedly for housing Fethullah Gulen and being the "mastermind" behind the coup, is on the rise.
Under the NATO nuclear weapons sharing program, Washington maintains its largest overseas nuclear arsenal in Turkey, consisting of up to 50 nuclear weapons, according to some estimates, however most nukes are stored at the base at Incirlik, and none are reportedly stored in Izmir.
I have seen things you people would not believe: NATO bases on fire off the coast of Izmir...pic.twitter.com/jamX73nFt3— Robin Monotti (@robinmonotti) July 24, 2016
?zmir buca'da saat 8 deki durum bu pic.twitter.com/csLIBNWxqX— Okan Parimli (@OkanParimli) July 24, 2016
According to local press the fire has not yet been subdued.