North Atlantic Treaty Organization has started its regular nuclear deterrence drills in Western Europe amid rising tensions with Russia.
On Monday, as part of an exercise named Steadfast Noon, NATO simulated dropping bombs from US B-52 bombers and F-16 fighters in Europe.
According to an AFP report, other than US B52 long-range bombers, 60 aircraft took part in a training flight over Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the northern sea.
The drills are occurring at the same time as Russia’s ‘Grom’ nuclear exercise.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, “It would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly now canceled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine. We need to understand that NATO’s firm, predictable behavior, our military strength, is the best way to prevent escalation.”
Meanwhile, last week, Stoltenberg made clear that the exercise was intended as a threat to Russia.
The drills will run till 30 October, as per media reports.
The US also rehearsed dropping B61 “tactical” thermonuclear bombs which are up to 20 times more effective than those launched during World War II in Japan.
On October 7, US President Joe Biden alerted of a nuclear “Armageddon”, claiming that the risk of nuclear war is at its highest since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.