08/04/2017 08:02 SAST | Updated 08/04/2017 08:02 SAST

Syria Protest Turns Violent in Florida As Hundreds Hit The Streets In U.S. Cities

A Florida protest turned violent Friday as activists gathered in Jacksonville, New York, Philadelphia, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and other cities to.demonstrate against the U.S. attack on Syria.

Six people among as many as 200 protesters were arrested in Jacksonville when different factions — those supporting Donald Trump and demonstrators opposed to the military action — turned "riotous" and attacked one another and police in downtown Hemming Plaza, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, First Coast News reported.

There was some tension as well in Detroit, where more than 30 people protesting the missile strike turned out at Grand Martius Park downtown. At one point they were heckled by some Detroit Tigers fans leaving a game. "Bomb Syria," shouted one fan, reported MIchigan Live.com, though most fans merely watched.

Unified New York protesters gathered in midtown at Trump Tower and at Union Square, chanting and holding signs saying "Bombing Syria doesn't protect people, it kills them," and "Yes to the refugees, no to the U.S. wars that create them," NBC reported. "U.S. intervention has never brought about peace and democracy in other countries," protester Nina Macapinlac told The New York Daily News. "This farce that by bombing Syria you're going to be able to bring about democracy is not true."

Close to 100 protesters gathered in Chicago at the Trump Tower there before marching along Michigan Avenue. "Hey, Hey, Donald J: How many kids have you killed today?" chanted demonstrators. "The tragedy of the children is heart-rending," protester Vicki Cervantes told WBBM Newsradio. "But I think the response of escalation — of more bombing, of more war — only means more dead children."

Close to 40 protesters gathered in downtown Philadelphia, with some holding signs reading "Bombs are not the answer." Members of a sizeable Syrian Christian community in Allentown, largely supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also planned a rally, reported CBS News. Organizer Dr. Khaldoun Makhoul, a Syrian who moved to the U.S. 23 years ago, believes the deadly chemical attack that killed 87 people earlier this week, prompting the U.S. missile attack, occurred when a Syrian rocket struck a chemical weapons arsenal belonging to rebels.

Syria has reported that seven people were killed and nine injured after the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles Thursday in the wake of the deadly chemical weapons attack in the first direct American assault on the Syrian government

U.S United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley called the move a "very measured step" and said the country is prepared to "do more" — but hopes that "will not be necessary."

More protests against the missile attack are planned over the weekend.