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They were attempting to rescue Lt. Cmdr. Richard D. Hartman, who had been at the control of a single-seat Douglas A4 Skyhawk when he was shot down 24 hours earlier. (image from US Navy/Militarygear.com)

They were attempting to rescue Lt. Cmdr. Richard D. Hartman, who had been at the control of a single-seat Douglas A4 Skyhawk when he was shot down 24 hours earlier. (image from US Navy/Militarygear.com)

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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.