The European sites where America's nuclear weapons are stored has been inadvertently revealed in a document published by a Nato-linked body, according to Belgian media reports.
The document written by for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly made passing reference to the roughly 150 US nuclear weapons being stored in Europe.
“These bombs are stored at six US and European bases - Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey,” one line read, according to the Belgian newspaper De Morgen.
The reference was reportedly contained in the original version of the document which was published in April but has since been removed in a final version which went out last week.
The document, titled “A new era for nuclear deterrence? Modernisation, arms control and allied nuclear forces,” was written by a Canadian senator.
A Nato official told The Washington Post the document was not from Nato itself - it was published by the group’s parliamentary assembly and added: “We do not comment on the details of Nato’s nuclear posture.”
The presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe acted as a deterrent to the Soviet Union during the Cold War and also meant European countries would not need to develop their own versions.
However for years the exact locations of the weapons have been a secret - though experts said their presence was widely known in the international community.
The faux pas was picked up by the European press. Dutch broadcaster RTL News ran an article headlined: “Nato reveals the Netherlands’s worst-kept secret.”
The reporting from De Morgen read: “Finally in black and white: There are American nuclear weapons in Belgium.”