tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 19, 2015 12:55am-1:01am PST
s. >> a unanimous yes to peace in syria. the u.n. counsel agrees to a plan, but can it be a means to end the civil war? >> pollution levels in beijing force a red alert, and much the same but still different, we take a closer look at what separates and what brings together. donald trump's post debate rivals. welcome. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
>> a good day to you. we start this hour in syria amid the brutal bloody conflict there. now a glimmer of hope. syria could find itself on a new path to peace. it depends on whether a new u.n. security council resolution works. it voted to approve a plan aimed at ending the coronet's civil war. the envoy to syria says i implementing it will be hard but possible. it does not address what to do about this man, the syrian president, bashar al assad. russia wants him to stay in power. the u.s. would prefer he does not stay in power. there are also other issues that need to be resolved, including the issue of what specific parties should be involved in the talks. elise labott has this story.
>> reporter: desperate to refocus the world's attention on isis, all stake holders in syria inch closer to an agreement for ending the syrian civil war. >> we've agreed on a plan of action. this is an important -- >> today the u.n. security council blessed the efforts starting with a cease fire and starting political talks early next year, but nations can't even agree on which syrian groups to consider terrorists and which to include in the talks. >> we're united that terrorists of all stripes have no place in the talks. >> reporter: and still unsolved, the place of asaad. >> i think that asaad is going to have to leave in order for the country to stop the blood letting. >> reporter: read the former
defense secretary said president obama's decision to stand down on strikes in syria, ignoring his own red line on asaad's use of chemical weapons, dealt a blow to u.s. credibility. which many argue has given space for isis to grow and for russia to enter. as the coalition continues to pound isis targets in syria, including these strikes which helped thwart a massive isis attack, the u.s. has set its sight on the group's branch in libya, killing the affiliate's leader in an air strike last month. now these photos show u.s. military personnel on the ground helping to beef up the army against jihadist. the secretary of defense warned isis global reach is never ending. >> we're in syria and iraq, which is the -- tumor of this
movement. we are seeing little nests of isil spring up around the world. including here in afghanistan. >> reporter: a u.n. dip mat tells me the negotiations to be led by the united nations are going going to work with the u.s. and russia stay united. only they can put pressure on others to stay on track with the political process. without them, this diplomat says the u.n. will only be leading from behind. ali elise labott, cnn. >> a new agency is reporting the sinking of a refugee boat. 18 refugees drowned when their wooden boat sank. turkey's coast guard was able to rescue people.
the boat was transporting 32 people. the number of migrants will top one million in the coming days. nearly 991,000 people entered europe by land or sea so far this year alone. this according to the international organization for migration. that is more than four times the number last year. the vast majority of migrants and refugees, more than 800,000, landed in greece. nearly 3,700 went missing or died trying to cross the mediterranean. tens of thousands of syrians are fleeing, trying to seek safer ground elsewhere. some say they want to stay. our senior international correspondent, matthew chance, takes us to the western city of latakia. a refugee camp where thousands say they'd prefer to be under bashar al assad's control. >> reporter: in the game for