The US State Department on Monday imposed limited sanctions on Turkey’s military arm responsible for weapons procurement and development, in a delayed response to Ankara’s 2019 purchase of advanced S-400 missile defense systems from Russia. The move was widely seen as an attempt to spare the larger Turkish economy from severe ramifications, targeting only a handful of individuals and not the entire defense apparatus. Officials in Ankara condemned the move as a “grave mistake” that would hamper relations between the two NATO allies, while also threatening to double down on their push for security independence. Prior to last year’s deal, Washington warned Turkey that the acquisition of Russian weaponry would endanger NATO warplanes and may lead to technologies being leaked to Moscow. Earlier this year, after Turkey ignored the warnings and proceeded to test the ground-to-air missiles, US officials said they were left with no choice.
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