ANTAKYA, Turkey — Syrian activists say Russian President Vladimir Putin's apparent about-face on a negotiated settlement to end hostilities in Syria has come too late to save his ally Bashar Assad.

"If Russia wants to save their face (in the eyes of) the Syrian population, it must take radical action against Bashar al-Assad and to support the Free Syrian Army and the opposition with money and weapons," said Sami Ibrahim, of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, speaking from the Syrian capital of Damascus.

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