The US airstrike against a Syrian airfield on Thursday was a symbolic act rather than of decisive military significance, former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr Klaus Naumann told Germany's Deutschlandrundfunk radio station.
"I don't think it was necessarily a critical point militarily, the attack was also very limited in scope. I remember that over 500 cruise missiles were deployed on the first day of the Iraq war, in addition to bomb attacks. In this case there were around 60," the general said.
He told the radio station that "under international law there is certainly a big question mark over the deployment" of the Tomahawk cruise missiles because of UN Security Council Resolution 2118.
Adopted in 2013, that resolution ordered the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program in accordance with procedures laid out by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
In the event of non-compliance, the Security Council declared it would take action in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
The retired general said that the US and its NATO allies must work with Russia to find a solution to the Syria crisis.
"I hope that talks with the very level-headed US Secretary of State Tillerson in Moscow next week will lead to a way out of the mess Syria is in and for which there is no recognizable solution at the moment."
On Friday, Turkey proposed imposing a no-fly zone in Syria, a suggestion which is opposed by Moscow. The former NATO spokesman said he is in favor of a no-fly zone in the short term, but wonders where such a solution might lead.
"I am therefore very skeptical when I hear about a non-fly zone. These are all first steps and when you take a first step you have to consider, 'where are we going and where will we end up?' Here you can only find a solution together with Russia," the general said.