As Syrian peace talks pick up speed, should we hope for any progress in ending the war? This conflict is a riddle, surely – as years go on, it becomes more and more difficult to sort out who’s fighting whom and for what purpose. And over that boiling pot of violence and blood, major powers – Russia, America, Gulf States, Iran – play their own game, no less convoluted, with goals and forces used to influence the conflict unclear. We try to solve that riddle, and to do that, we speak to the director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, who is an influential analyst on Syria. Professor Joshua Landis is on Sophie&Co today.