Political map of the Eastern Mediterranean 22 December 1980 (Battle of Zahlé): By the late 1970s relations between the Christian militias of the Lebanese Front and the Syrian forces in Lebanon (Syrian occupation of Lebanon) had collapsed. In 1980–81 fighting broke out between the Syrians and the Christians in the mountain town of Zahlé (Battle of Zahle), further increasing tensions between Syria and Israel (which supported the Christians). Although US and Arab mediation brought an end to the battle, it would be only a matter of time before Israel would intervene in Lebanon again.