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