US Senate restricts Trump's military action against Iran

Washington (hooly News) – The US Senate passed a resolution on Thursday to limit military action by Donald Trump against Iran, a new snub for the President who should, however, exercise his veto power.

Uncommon in the upper house of Congress controlled by the Republicans, eight of them joined the Democrats to approve this resolution (55 for, 45 against).

The text, presented by the opposition, asks the president not to engage the armed forces in hostilities against Iran "or any part of its government or of its army", without explicit authorization for a declaration of war or an authorization specific for the use of military force.

However, he stresses that the president retains the capacity to initiate military action in the event of an "imminent" attack on the country.

Republican Senator David Perdue on Thursday denounced a "short-sighted" resolution that will "encourage Iran and increase the possibility of an attack".

The resolution will now be considered by the House of Representatives, where it is likely to also be adopted.

This would send "a very bad signal" for US security, Donald Trump warned on Twitter on Wednesday.

– "A greater risk" –

Democrats were deeply concerned about the spike in tension after the US strike that killed a powerful Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, on January 3.

Tehran responded by firing missiles at bases used by the US military in Iraq, and more than 100 American soldiers suffered from "mild concussions".

"President Trump trampled on the Constitution, bypassed Congress and launched a strike that killed General Soleimani," said Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth after the vote.

"I'm glad he died," said the former soldier who lost both legs in Iraq. But "this decision puts the Americans at greater risk because (the president) had no good plan to react to the consequences of the war".

The Chamber had approved in early January by a comfortable majority (224 votes for, and 194 against) a separate resolution on the same subject.

The version adopted Thursday, presented by Democratic Senator Tim Kaine has been amended to obtain the support of some Republican senators, outraged by fragmented information given by the White House on the spectacular operation against the head of the Force al-Quds, the Iranian regime's elite unit in charge of foreign operations.

– Rocket attack –

There is consensus among the American political class to say that the Iranian government "supports terrorism" and that General Soleimani was "the main architect of most of the destabilizing activities of Iran throughout the world", indicated the first resolution of the House.

But the Democrats accuse Donald Trump of having carried out a "disproportionate and provocative" operation to eliminate Soleimani.

The republican billionaire believes that he does not have the "obligation" to solicit parliamentarians before ordering military strikes against an enemy target.

In April 2017, several elected officials criticized him for not having consulted the Congress before carrying out strikes against a Syrian military base, according to him responsible for a chemical attack on civilians in the rebel province of Idleb.

Since 1973, the "War Powers Resolution" has forced the American president to obtain authorization from Congress for any military intervention of more than 60 to 90 days.

George W. Bush obtained it after the attacks of September 11, 2001, then before the American intervention in Iraq. They were not limited in duration.

These two authorizations constitute the controversial legal basis for US operations in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group.

The vote came after an air base housing American soldiers in northern Iraq was hit by a rocket, with no casualties, security officials said.

The U.S. military also announced on Thursday that it had intercepted a shipment of Iranian weapons to the Yemeni Houthi rebels in the Arabian Sea.

In 2019, Donald Trump had already suffered a snub when Congress had passed a resolution demanding the end of American support for the Saudi military coalition in the war in Yemen, except for operations targeting jihadist groups. He had vetoed it.