Hassan Rouhani

The Latest: Renewed Syrian opposition insists Assad must go

The latest on the civil war in Syria (all times local):

12:05 a.m.

The head of the revamped Syrian opposition says President Bashar Assad's government is afraid of political negotiations and insists it wants his departure before any political transition can start.

Nasr al-Hariri spoke Monday evening to reporters in Geneva a day before the start of the eighth round of U.N.-mediated talks since early 2016, which have yet to produce face-to-face negotiations.

Al-Hariri says the opposition that was re-assembled and broadened days ago is "here to negotiate."

He says that some within the broader opposition believe a demand for Assad's departure...