The weekend airstrikes targeted three of Assad’s key chemical weapons facilities with the USA leading the UK and France.
The former Defence Minister of Germany Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and a politician tipped to be Merkel’s successor has criticised the German government for its behaviour in relation to the Syrian conflict saying that there must be action when “someone kills children, innocent people”.
She said: “Germany will not take part in military action.
“But we see and support that everything is done to send a signal that this use of chemical weapons is not acceptable.”
Mr Guttenberg has slammed Mrs Merkel’s arguments against participating in the air strikes.
He told the Bild newspaper in Germany: “We make it easy for ourselves, letting the others do the dirty work.
“It is good that somebody still acts when someone kills children, innocent people.
“I do not think that this will inspire confidence: neither within their own population, nor in an international context.”
He added Germany could face reputation damage within NATO because Germany did not say yes to military involvement.
CDU politican Volker Kauder defended the German government.
He said: “We can not participate everywhere with the Bundeswehr.
“But the basic problem cannot be solved with further military strikes. Now it is important to have diplomatic and political talks. Everyone involved would have to join.”
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out against Assad, he said: “Nobody can imagine that anyone who uses chemical weapons against their population can be part of the solution.”
It is thought that Mrs Merkel does not want a high international profile for Germany in exchange for a more troubled domestic situation.
Around 60 percent of Germans polled consider the airstrikes a mistake.
(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)