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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (right) and former Syrian Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass pause for the media before a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner at Mr. Davutoglu’s residence in Ankara on July 26. The general, after defecting from Syria, made his surprise visit to Turkey soon afterward. Gen. Tlas says he defected when he realized that longtime friend President Bashar Assad could not be deterred from crushing opposition to his regime. But some Syrians suspect his motives may be political. (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.