In January 2010, he declared: ‘There’s been a coup, have you heard?
Syria has been ruled by a succession of dictators belonging to the minority Alawi Islamic sect since a coup in 1966.
There are the accusations that the new leaders pulled off a coup and “came to power in an illegal way.”
c.1400, from Old French coup, colp "a blow, strike" (12c.), from Medieval Latin colpus, from Vulgar Latin colapus, from Latin colaphus "a cuff, box on the ear," from Greek kolaphos "a blow, slap." Meaning "a sudden decisive act" is 1852, short for coup d'etat. In Modern French the word is a workhorse, describing everything from a pat on the back to a whipping, and is used as well of thunder, gusts of wind, gunshots, and chess moves.