A former British military chief says the United States decided that it had won the war in Iraq too soon.

Former deputy chief of defense staff Lt. Gen. Anthony Pigott said Friday that the U.S. was too triumphant when Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad was pulled down in April 2003.

U.S. Marines tore down the statue of the former Iraqi president in 2003 in what became one of the iconic images of the U.S.-led invasion.

Pigott said that "nobody had won anything when the statue came down."

Pigott was giving evidence at an inquiry into the period leading up to and after the Iraq war. The war was deeply unpopular in Britain, left 179 British soldiers dead and triggered huge protests.