Hundreds of terrorists in Syria and northern Iraq have been neutralized as part of Turkey's cross-border counter-terrorism operations since the start of 2020, the Turkish defense minister said on May 20.
"Our fight against terror in Syria and northern Iraq continues without pause- 1,411 terrorists have been neutralized since Jan. 1," Hulusi Akar said.
The spokesman for Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces announced early on May 20 that as of midnight they would be withdrawing 2-3 kilometers (around 1.8 miles) from fronts south of Tripoli.
Ahmed Al-Mismari said on social media they will be pulling back so people in the capital can celebrate the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on late May 15 demoted the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı, who is known as the architect of Ankara's naval policy regarding Libya.
Daily Hürriyet columnist Nedim Şener said on May 18 that Yaycı resigned after he was assigned to the Turkish General Staff last week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg have discussed on the phone the recent developments in Libya and Syria as the latter reiterated the alliance continued to support to the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which is under attack by General Khalifa Haftar's forces.
Turkey's president and the head of NATO on May 14 discussed via telephone the novel coronavirus and steps to take in the post-pandemic period, according to a statement by Ankara's presidential Directorate of Communications.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Jens Stoltenberg also discussed the latest developments in Syria and Libya.
In what was viewed as another display of nationalistic rhetoric aimed at a domestic audience on Thursday, Turkey announced its intention to proceed with drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, while a university rector and the head of an organization linked to the ruling AK Party set their sights on 12 Greek islands, Western Thrace and parts of Crete.
NATO is ready to support Libya's government led by Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the military alliance said on May 14.
In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Jens Stoltenberg noted that NATO has 30 partners, which on many issues have different positions, but added that Turkey remains an important ally.