DAMASCUS (AFP) - An Arab League team held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the start of a bid to mediate with the opposition, as activists said at least 15 people were killed in violence on Wednesday. Headed by Qatar, the Leagues current chair, the delegation comprises the foreign ministers of Algeria, Egypt, Oman and Sudan, in addition to Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi. Faced with a tough mission, Arabi has said he hopes the Syrian regime will agree to this initiative, and begin with genuine reforms, in comments to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat. It is my prerogative as secretary general of the Arab League to meet with any member of the peaceful opposition, said Arabi, referring to a disagreement with Damascus after he met members of the Syrian opposition. At an emergency session in Cairo on October 16, the 22-member League called for national dialogue between the government and opposition by the end of October to help end the violence and avoid foreign intervention in Syria. Syrias representative to the 22-member Arab League, Youssef Ahmad, slammed what he said was a conspiracy against Assads regime at the Cairo meeting. But the initiative has also been opposed by the opposition. Arabs, do not get more involved in the bloodshed against us, said the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a coalition representing some 40 opposition blocs. We will not accept anything less than Bashar al-Assads resignation and his trial, they said. In a show of support for the embattled president, tens of thousands of Assad supporters rallied in Damascus on Wednesday. The demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and brandishing pictures of Assad, swarmed to Omayyad square, chanting, The people want Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 15 people, including nine government soldiers, had been killed in the latest unrest between Assad loyalists and opponents. Nine servicemen, including an officer of the Syrian regular army, were killed by a rocket, fired by armed men, probably deserters. The soldiers were on a vehicle in Al-Hamrat village, on the Hama-Salamiyah road, it said. Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, as activists said his security forces shot dead two more civilians. The demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and brandishing pictures of Assad, swarmed to Omayyad mosque in the heart of Damascus for the rally, chanting, The people want Bashar al-Assad.