Al Jazeera World

Al Shishakli: Syria’s Master of Coups

The rise and fall of 1950s Syrian President Adib Al Shishakli, a master of military coups and defeating rivals.

Syria in the late 1940s and early 1950s was a time of successive military coups.

Often, the coup organiser-in-chief was Adib Al Shishakli, a military leader who was president from 1953 to 1954.

Al Shishakli controlled the revolving door of Syrian leadership, placing allies in senior positions, rewarding friends and making enemies.

In 1953, he won a referendum that made him Syria’s president. But just a year later, he was unseated by rivals and went into exile in Brazil.

There, in 1964, he was assassinated by a lone Syrian gunman, angered at the former president’s actions ten years earlier.

This film follows the life and death of Adib Al Shishakli.