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A column of smoke rises from an oil refinery in Baiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, on Thursday. Sunni Muslim extremists who have taken over large portions of northern Iraq have shown their willingness to use oil supplies as a weapon. (Associated Press)

A column of smoke rises from an oil refinery in Baiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad, on Thursday. Sunni Muslim extremists who have taken over large portions of northern Iraq have shown their willingness to use oil supplies as a weapon. (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.