Athens had now taken the decision to send aide to Corcyra after having swayed from one side of the argument to the other. However, the assistance would be limited, with it being defensive in nature. Athens would send a small force of 10 triremes to Corcyra to lend their support with the commanders being instructed they were to only engage the Corinthians if Corcyrean territory was directly threatened.
This decision taken by Athens did not deter the Corinthians however, they would still set in motion the fleet that had been assembled. This would end up seeing the Corcyrean and Corinthian fleets meeting in a naval engagement known as the battle of Sybota in the waters between Corcyra and the mainland. Athens with its 10 triremes would also line up within the Corcyrean battle line where they would face the Corinthian contingent.
The battle would be joined as the sun rose in an old-fashioned melee at sea, perhaps a little primitive to the tactical manoeuvres Athens had perfected. To begin with Athens would not engage in combat, but would charge at the Corinthian line whenever they saw the Corcyreans were in trouble. They would peel off at the last minute, where their aim was to buy their allies time to recover. However, as the battle wore on Corcyra was now in real trouble of breaking. This would see Athens now charge in more recklessly to where they would be in open combat with Corinthian ships.
Athens intervention would see that the Corcyrean fleet remained intact and both sides were able to withdraw to their camps as night came on. The next day both fleets would be back in the water but battle would not develop. Corinth had a number of factors to consider now, one being their status with Athens. Both sides would claim victory in the engagement with Corinth departing back home, though, Corcyra would remain intact, still in control of their waters. The situation in Greece was now growing more volatile with each passing action, this time with a breach in the 30 years peace.