The U.S. move to put sanctions on Turkey over its anti-terror operation in northern Syria is not in line with the spirit of the NATO alliance, the National Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
"Operation Peace Spring continues successfully as planned. In the operation, the protection of our country, borders and people is essential. Even the discourses of sanctions against our country are incompatible with the spirit of the 70-year NATO alliance," the ministry said in a statement.
The U.S. announced sanctions Monday on two Turkish ministries and three senior government officials over Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
The Turkish statement stressed that Ankara aims at providing voluntary and safe return for Syrian refugees to their homes in Syria.
"Moving the YPG/PKK terror group out of the safe zone is indispensable in this regard. Our fight against Daesh will continue undeterred," he added.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria's territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and the YPG, its Syrian offshoot.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Source: Anadolu Agency