The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Wednesday launched the "largest assault of Yemen's war," according to Reuters, for the port city of Hudaydah.

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Conflict Monitor; Map: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The big picture: The battle puts hundreds of thousands of civilian lives at risk, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande told NPR. The port is a major lifeline for the Yemeni people, millions of whom are already suffering from famine, cholera, and other life-threatening conditions. Two-thirds of all humanitarian aid to Yemen enters through Hudaydah's port, per CNN, and 600,000 people living in the city and surrounding area are at risk from the conflict.

What's happening
  • The Emiratis are leading the charge, with the support of the Saudi-led coalition, in efforts to re-take Hudaydah from the Houthi rebels. Four Emirati casualties were confirmed on Wednesday, per the Washington Post.
  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced a plan to assist Hudaydah and its surrounding areas, Reuters reports. They plan to "distribute food, provide medical supplies, equipment and staff to hospitals, sustain electrical stations and provide economic support," while establishing shipping lanes from both countries to Hudaydah.
  • The UN Security Council met Thursday, per Reuters, to discuss the situation.
What they're saying
  • Perry Cammack, a former State Department official and a fellow at the Carnegie Empowerment for International Peace, told Axios that taking Hudaydah would be a major strategic win for the Saudis, as it would "cut off Hudaydah support to resupply the Houthis," and ultimately help them take the capital, Sana'a. However, he said, there are "potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences."
  • David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday: "The attack on Hudaydah is an attack on the political and diplomatic process to bring peace to Yemen.  UN Security Council members including the U.S. and UK governments... must act now to secure a ceasefire before the people in Hudaydah city suffer the same fate as those in Aleppo, Mosul or Raqqa.”

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.