US officials were caught off guard by the Turkish comments, saying they believed Ankara would continue to pursue a hard line, according to officials briefed on the diplomacy. The Obama administration is concerned that Syria could use Turkey's position as political cover to finish off the crackdown in Hama and then claim it is ready to move forward with political reforms.
A Hurriyet Daily News columnist writes that Assad's weakness is what has maintained Turkey's support – he poses no challenge to Prime Minister Erdogan or Turkey. They're also afraid of who might take his place if he is forced out.
That is the reason why Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan reacted in anger to the Turkish main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu when the latter asked, “What are you going to do when your patience is exhausted? Are you going to go for a military intervention?” Everybody concerned knows there are no conditions for military intervention in Syria; like Libya or Iraq. And Assad knows that one of his main powers keeping him in his chair is his weakness.