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The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate has advanced a bipartisan measure intended to limit President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran.

Eight Republicans sided with Democrats on a motion to proceed to a final vote on the matter as soon as February 13. The February 12 vote on the procedural motion was 51-45.

The nonbinding resolution would direct Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.

Trump and his supporters say the measure would send a wrong signal to Iran and other potential adversaries.

"It is very important for our Country's SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution. We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness," the president tweeted.


However, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a lead sponsor of the resolution, told journalists: "We don't send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law."

The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, as Democrats and some Republicans fumed over Trump's failure to fully inform them about his Iran strategy.

The move came after Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran's elite Quds Force, in Baghdad. He did not inform Congress until after the strike.

In response to Soleimani's killing, Tehran launched missile strikes on two bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq. The Pentagon says 109 U.S. service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury following the attack on the Ain Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, though no one was killed.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war -- not the president.