Iraqi ambassador to Beirut dismissed after firing RPG on 'hunting trip'

Iraqi ambassador to Beirut dismissed after firing RPG on 'hunting trip'
2 min read
19 July, 2022
The Iraqi ambassador said the pictures were meant merely to showcase his cultural activities.
The photos of the Iraqi ambassador using the RPG sparked controversy on Lebanese and Iraqi social media. [Twitter]
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Iraq's ambassador to Beirut, Haidar Shea al-Barrak, has been recalled to Baghdad after photos circulated of the ambassador using an RPG during a hunting trip in Lebanon's Bekaa valley.

Senior Iraqi diplomatic sources told The New Arab's sister site, Al-Araby al-Jadeed on Monday that the al-Barrak was dismissed from his post. The source added that the Iraqi embassy will be managed by the consul for the time being.

The photos of the Iraqi ambassador holding and firing the RPG in the presence of other armed civilians sparked controversy on Lebanese and Iraqi social media platforms. Lebanese Twitter users expressed shock, with one user criticising what they saw as "mafia-like" behaviour from the ambassador.

Al-Barrak responded to criticism on his social media account, saying that "hunting was a part of his identity" and that he had wanted to share his cultural activities.

Ownership and usage of firearms in Lebanon are widespread, with more Lebanese reportedly buying weapons as the country's economic crisis deepens.

Injuries and deaths due to stray bullets are a consistent problem despite the authorities' attempts to stop celebratory gunfire.

 
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