WASHINGTON (AP) — The US says the Thai military’s declaration of martial law is allowed by the nation’s constitution and its actions to date will not trigger sanctions.

The military acted on Tuesday after six months of political protests, citing a 100-year-old law giving it authority to intervene during crises. It declared it was not launching a coup but took quick steps to censor news and social media, drawing criticism from rights groups.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US expects the Thai military to abide by its commitment that martial law is a temporary step to prevent violence and it will respect democratic institutions.

She said the US continues to watch the situation closely.

Following Thailand’s last military coup in 2006, the US froze military assistance to Thailand for 18 months.