The United States and the United Kingdom are again putting pressure on Russia over its stance on Syria. On Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Moscow that it could lose its regional influence if it continues to side with the Syrian government and its 15 month-long crackdown.

Russia, which is reportedly sending attack helicopters to Bashar al-Assad's regime, has been an obstcale to proposed United Nations sanctions on Syria, and Western observers worry that as long as Russia is friendly with the Assad the violence will continue.

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that a U.N. mission had entered the town of Haffa, which was seized by regime forces this week. On Tuesday, an angry crowd tried to keep the observers out, throwing stones and pieces of metal at a U.N. convoy, but monitors entered Haffa on Thursday. A Reuters photographer traveling with the group described the town as nearly deserted, according to the BBC, and added it showed signs of shelling and fires.