From where CBS News stood on the Syrian border, one could see the black flags of ISIS and villages controlled by the Islamic extremists.
One man warned CBS News to not cross over, saying if we were not Sunni Muslim they would kill us.
Sixty miles away was Raqqa - the capital of what ISIS calls its Islamic state - and the target of the US air strikes Monday night.
But on the border, many believe the American-led strikes are too little - and have come too late.
Ahmed Sadiq is a Syrian refugee who fled the city of Aleppo two years ago, after Syrian government forces began indiscriminate attacks on its residential neighborhoods.
"Why didn't the Americans target the regime?" asked Sadiq." If they'd bombed the regime three years ago, ISIS wouldn't even exist now."
But instead ISIS has thrived on the deadly chaos of Syria's civil war.
Last week they launched another violent offensive seizing scores of villages and forcing more than 100 thousand Syrians to flee their homes for the safety of Turkey.
Mahdena Wasu told CBS News she came to a makeshift refugee camp three days ago after ISIS besieged her town, and killed two of her cousins.
"We've been hoping for a year that the Americans would attack them," Wasu said. "They slaughter people and we were living in fear."
Syria's civil war began as an uprising against the country's government. Now, the fear is that the US-led air strikes against ISIS may serve to strengthen the position of the Syrian regime, which continues to kill its own people.