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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.”

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Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.