Iraqi state television says the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, has arrived in Baghdad, his first visit to Iraq since a U.S.-led coalition began a campaign of airstrikes targeting the extremist Islamic State group.

Dempsey, a veteran of the Iraq war, arrived Saturday on a previously unannounced visit.

His trip comes two days after he told Congress that the United States would consider dispatching a modest number of American forces to fight with Iraqi troops as they engage in more complex missions in the campaign against Islamic State militants who control about a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria.