US official downplays effect of Gulf rift on extremist fight

The top U.S. diplomat says he does not expect a growing rift between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors to degrade unity in the fight against Islamic extremists.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells a news conference in Sydney that the rift will have no implications for the effort against the Islamic State group.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all have announced they have cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, which hosts a key U.S. air base.

Saudi Arabia said Qatari troops would be pulled from its ongoing war in Yemen.

All the nations also said they planned to cut air and sea traffic to Qatar.