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** FILE ** The U.S. Navy planned to send minesweepers and warships into the Persian Gulf in September 2012 for exercises intended to make Iran think twice about any attempts to block oil tanker traffic through the narrow waterway that links the region’s oil fields with world markets. (Associated Press)

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Say hello, Assad: See the Navy warships off the coast of Syria

The Navy has sent four warships — USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Gravely and USS Barry — armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea amid violence in Syria. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military actions, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles as they did against Libya in 2011.