Lebanon and Syria were mandates of France from the League of Nations in 1920. As such, it was neither a colony nor a protectorate. France was permitted to exercise that mandate until such time that it was determined that Lebanon and Syria could be awarded independence.
Use of Third Republic issues during the period of fealty to Vichy resulted in covers which are highly prized and difficult to find.
Posted in Beirut on November 1, 1940 to the U.S.
German Luftwaffe units used Lebanonese and Syrian airbases in March 1941 to assist an Iraqi rebellion against Great Britain. British and Free French forces fought a short lived campaign of several months to take possession of both mandates. The Vichy French administrators capitulated to British forces in July, 1941, with control of the mandates turned over to the French in July 1941.