US lawmakers voted to limit Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran, with eight Republican senators breaking party ranks to support the measure. Trump is expected to veto the move.
In a rebuke to Donald Trump, the US Senate voted on Thursday for the resolution which would require the US president to seek authorization from Congress before escalating hostilities with Iran. The document foresees an exception in case of an imminent threat.
While the president "must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there," said the author of the resolution, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine.
Republicans control 53 out of 100 seats in the US Senate. However, eight Republican lawmakers supported the measure and voted with their Democrat colleagues for the final tally of 55 votes in favor of the measure.
"The last thing we need is another aimless protracted conflict in the Middle East," said Republican Senator Mike Lee, who supported the bill.
Veto from Trump?
The move comes after Trump authorized an air strike which killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimaini outside Baghdad, putting the Tehran and Washington on the brink of war. Iran responded by firing rockets at US bases in Iraq.
Trump initially claimed that no US troops were injured in the retaliatory strike but the US military has since announced that at least 109 service members have suffered brain injuries. Also, Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger jet and killing all 176 civilians on board while firing rockets at US targets.
The US president is virtually guaranteed to veto the resolution, having previously slammed such limits as a sign of "weakness."
A two-thirds majority in both chambers would then be needed to overturn Trump's veto and make the motion into law.
dj/msh (AP, Reuters, dpa)