Updated: Dec 1, 2020


November 18, 2020

By Jake Morphonios

Blackstone Intelligence Report

The Turkish Parliament has approved a measure to send military forces to Azerbaijan. Turkey, which during the Ottoman Empire period was responsible for carrying out a bloody campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing that killed over a million (mostly Christian) Armenians, is today militarily allied with Armenia's neighbor and enemy, the nation of Azerbaijan.

Armenia is an ancient nation. It was the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. That happened in 301 AD. Christianity had been brought to Armenia between AD 40-60 by two of Jesus' original 12 apostles - Thaddaeus and Bartholomew.

Armenia's neighbor, Azerbaijan, had been part of the Russian Empire until 1918 when it declared its independence and became the first secular democratic Muslim majority state. Two years later, it was incorporated into the Soviet Union as a Soviet Socialist Republic.

The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in 1991 - the same year that the USSR was dissolved. And that is around the time that things started getting heated with neighboring Armenia.

There is a region of Azerbaijan along the border of Armenia that has an ethnic Armenian majority. The region is called Nagorno-Karabakh.

Back in 1918 when the Russian Empire fell, both Armenia and Azerbaijan claimed the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and a brief war broke out over control of the territory. When the Soviets incorporated Azerbaijan into the USSR, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was basically shelved.

It was never resolved because, while the Soviet Union was still in power, the Christian Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh had no power to secede from Azerbaijan. But when the USSR fell, that's exactly what the people did.

In 1991, the ethnic Armenians voted to secede from Azerbaijan. After breaking away, they declared independence and formed the Republic of Artsakh.

While Armenia recognizes the independence of the Republic of Artsakh, the rest of the world considers Artsakh part of Azerbaijan - which is why you don't fine Artsakh on most maps.

Tensions have remained high ever since. Armenia supports the Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh region, also known as the Republic of Artsakh, but Turkey supports Azerbaijan. They've had military conflicts, such as the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War.

But the latest escalation in between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared on September 27th of this year in what has come to be called the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War.

Things spilled over when Azerbaijan carried out an offensive to reclaim districts in Nagorno-Karabakh - which, for the rest of this report, I'm going to refer to as Artsakh for brevity.

In just 3 weeks, thousands of civilians had been killed and half of the Armenian population of Artsakh was forced to flee their homes - creating a humanitarian catastrophe.

Aside from Armenians who comprise over 95% of the population, Nagorno-Karabakh is also home to Russian, Ukrainian, Yezidi, Georgian and Syrian minorities.

The Azerbaijani (or, Azeri) offensive was notable for the military hardware they deployed - everything from drones, missiles, heavy artillery - and most notably, cluster bombs used on residential neighborhoods.

The international community has banned the use of cluster bombs. In fact, 123 countries have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions outlawing the weapons.

Cluster Bombs explode over a target into hundreds of smaller bomblets that are filled with shrapnel. They rain down on areas as big as football fields. The biggest part of the controversy is that around 20% of the bomblets don't explode - which essentially turns neighborhoods with children into deadly land mine fields.


And from where is Azerbaijan getting these horrible weapons? Naturally, from Israel. These are Israeli made M095 DPICM cluster munitions that are being fired at Armenian civilians by Azerbaijan. Amnesty International and others have identified the source of the munitions.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute publishes an Arms Transfers Database. In the database, Israel is identified as the 2nd largest arms supplier to Azerbaijan after Russia. The database shows that from 2015 to 2019 - 60% of all arms sold to Azerbaijan came from Israel's military industrial complex.

In fact, Azerbaijan is Israel's 2nd most important customer. Israel's #1 customer is the government of India, which uses the weapons to oppress the people of Kashmir.

You've all likely seen President Donald Trump bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia to receive a medal following Trump's brokering of the biggest arms deal for the military industrial complex in the history of the world. Or, perhaps you’ve seen a gloating President Trump sitting next to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the Oval Office holding up placards boasting multi-billion arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in the terrorist state's bloody genocide in Yemen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a similar photo op with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev during which the men rejoiced together over Azerbaijan's purchase of $5 billion worth of military equipment from Israel. Five billion dollars is quite a sum for Azerbaijan, considering the country’s total GDP is only $38 billion.

This should be a concern to American taxpayers. Despite the fact that Israel runs a budget surplus each year (while America is suffering the worst debt crisis in our nation’s history), the US taxpayer is sending more than $5 billion per year in payments to Israel to support its military and armaments industry.

In other words, US tax payers are inadvertently helping to kill Christians in Artsakh. And in return for selling weapons to Azerbaijan, not only is Israel getting money, but they are also receiving 37% of Azerbaijan's oil exports. In fact, Azerbaijan is Israel's top supplier of oil.

And speaking of oil, let's talk about the elephant in the room. IRAN.

Armenia and Azerbaijan both share borders with Iran. Ethnic Azeris also live on the Iranian side of the border. And not just a few. Nearly twice as many ethnic Azeris live in Iran as they live in Azerbaijan. And, because Azeri Muslims are Shiite, they have something in common with Iranians.

Iran has the world's largest population of Shia Muslims. Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei is part Azerbaijani. His father was an ethnic Azeri.

Given the ethno-religious connections between Iran and Azerbaijan, as well as the fact that the two nations share oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea, one would assume that Iran would take Azerbaijan's side in its conflict with Armenia. But that isn't the case.

The Caspian Sea lies above one of the world's largest collections of oil and gas fields. Just like Turkey has to navigate difficulties with ethnic Kurds trying to break away part of the territory to form their own state, Iran faces the same kind of problem. There are ethnic Azeris in Iran who want to break away and merge with Azerbaijan. The loss of that territory would also cost Iran some of its access to energy resources in the Caspian Sea.

And Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is in bed with the oil corporations of the west which are in competition with Iran. It's actually western oil corporations that do the oil exploration in the Caspian with the consent of the Azerbaijani government.

Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan Pipeline

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline is 1,100 miles long. It runs from the Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli oil field in the Caspian Sea all the way to the Mediterranean. The Pipeline begins in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, and stretches to a port on the southeastern coast of Turkey along the Mediterranean Sea.

The pipeline transits through Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. It is the second-longest oil pipeline in the former Soviet Union, after the Druzhba Pipeline.

The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan Pipeline (BTC) is a plot device in the James Bond film “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). One of the central characters, Elektra King, is responsible for the construction of an oil pipeline through the Caucasus, from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Named the "King Pipeline" in the film, it is a thinly disguised version of the BTC.

The Turkish route meant a pipeline from Azerbaijan would run through Georgia or Armenia, but the route through Armenia was politically impossible due to the unresolved war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the status of Artsakh. This left the circuitous Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey route - longer and more expensive to build than the other option.

The pipeline is owned and operated by BTC Co, a consortium of 11 energy companies. The consortium is managed by British Petroleum (BP). Consortium shareholders include:

  • BP (United Kingdom): 30.1%

  • State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) (Azerbaijan): 25.00%

  • Chevron (United States): 8.90%

  • Statoil (Norway): 8.71%

  • Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı (TPAO) (Turkey): 6.53%

  • Eni (Italy): 5.00%

  • Total (France): 5.00%

  • Itochu (Japan): 3.40%

  • Inpex (Japan): 2.50%

  • ExxonMobil (USA): 2.50%

  • ONGC Videsh (India) 2.36%

Russia’s Tass News Agency reported that the government of Kazakhstan announced that it would build a trans-Caspian oil pipeline from the Kazakhstani port of Aktau to Baku. However, opposition from Iran and Russia, Kazakhstan instead began transporting oil to the BTC pipeline via tankers in the Caspian.

According to Turkish Weekly, “it has been proposed that oil from the pipeline be transported to eastern Asia via the Israeli oil terminals at Ashkelon and Eilat, the overland trans-Israel sector being bridged by the Trans-Israel pipeline owned by the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC)”.


The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company operates several oil and gas pipelines in Israel, most notably the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline - also called the Trans-Israel Pipeline, or “Tipline”. It also operates two oil terminal and depots in the country.

The company was originally formed in 1968 during the Sha’s rule as a 50/50 joint venture between Israel and Iran to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe. After the Iranian Revolution 1979, Israel unilaterally nationalized the company – without compensation to Iran.

In 2015, a Swiss court ordered Israel to pay Iran $1.1 billion in compensation, which Israel refused to pay. The position of Israel was that such a payment would violate its “Trading with the Enemy Act.”


Of particular interest to our Blackstone audience is that fact that the original Azeri oil pipeline was financed by the Rothschild family.

The patriarch of the Rothschild banking dynasty was Mayer Amschel Rothschild. He had 5 sons, each of whom was sent out to a different city in Europe to establish branches of the Rothschild bank. Mayer's son, James Mayer, was sent to Paris to start the French branch of the family bank.

The son of James Mayer (the grandson of Mayer Amschel) was Alphonse James de Rothschild - or just Alfonse Rothschild for short. It was Alfonse who served as the principal financier for the construction of the Baku-Batum Pipeline in the Trans-Caucasus.

In “Visions of Azerbaijan” magazine, we learn that Alfonse Rothschild & his family was far more involved in the oil project than merely putting up money for a single oil pipeline. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Rothschild men were known as the “Kings of Kerosene”, becoming the principal exporters of Russian petroleum products. Keep in mind that, back then, Azerbaijan’s oil was referred to as Russian oil.

To achieve this virtual monopoly was no small feat. It required decades of cutthroat activity against competitors and the control of a powerful oil cartel – putting the Rothschilds at the top of the upper echelons of power elites in Russia. With this money and power, the Rothschild family bent the Russian government to its will.

As of 1888, Rothschild kerosene oil accounted for 59% of all Russian exports. According to an 1888 article in the Kaspiy newspaper, Rothschild oil was, “a sort of syndicate concentrating more than half of kerosene exports from Russia in its hands.”

The Rothschild oil empire spread into many related industries. They owned fleets of oil tankers, maintained vast numbers of employees in companies devoted to pipeline and tanker repair, railway control for overland transportation, etc.

At that time, John D. Rockefeller’s American syndicate, Standard Oil, tried every way it could to break into the oil markets in the Caucasus and Absheron oil markets. But no matter how hard the western oil monopoly tried to broker deals with Russia, the Rothschild cartel boxed them out – retaining full supremacy over the eastern oil markets.

By 1907, the Rothschild oil cartel produced 75% of all kerosene sold in the Russian Empire and 90% of the oil produced in Baku. The Rothschild cartel grew beyond the Russian markets into Europe. It controlled Consolidated Petroleum, a London oil corporation that competed against America’s Standard Oil. In fact, the Rothschild cartel was the sole representative of British oil companies throughout international markets.

In 1910, the Russian Neft Oil company was purchased by Edmund Rothschild. Up until the October 1917 Russian Revolution, the Rothschilds owned majority shares in all 15 of the largest corporations connected to the Russian oil industry.

Just prior to the outbreak of World War I, the Rothschilds sold their Russian oil companies to Royal Dutch Shell – the top European rival to America’s Standard Oil. In return, the Rothschilds received 20% of the shares in the Shell trust.

The Rothschilds knew in advance that World War I was going to break out, which is why they dumped their ownership of Russian oil companies to the Anglo-Dutch Shell company. When the Russian Revolution took place and the Bolsheviks nationalized Russian oil companies, the Rothschilds had already safely divested and reinvested in Shell, which took the brunt of the losses.

To this day, the Rothschild family maintains significant holdings in Royal Dutch Shell. The bankers continue to play a role in fomenting international conflicts throughout Africa and the Middle East that break open and solidify control over oil resources and markets.

Rothschild-influenced governments and industries, including the state of Israel and its military industrial complex, play an integral role in the ongoing oil wars raging throughout the world.

In order to understand the geopolitical conflicts of today, we need only look to the bankers’ schemes of the past. Because the present is nothing more than a repeating cycle of greed, corruption and intrigue.

Jake Morphonios is an investigative journalist specializing in Middle East affairs and clandestine intelligence operations. He is an internationally recognized geopolitical expert and has been quoted in dozens of publications from The Wall Street Journal to the New York Times.

Sources and Additional Reading:

Mendeleyev D.I. “Foundations of Chemistry” - SaintPetersburg, 1895, 6th edition.

Mendeleyev D.I. Oil industry in the Pennsylvania and Caucasus. Proceedings, v.10 – Moscow, Publishing House of USSR Academy of Sciences, 1949.

Mir-Babayev M.F. Vladimir Shukhov and Russian oil industry. – “Territory of the Neftegas”, Moscow, 2004, #10, pp. 60-63.

"Baku news" (Bakinskie novosti) newspaper, 1894, № 57-59.

Mir-Babayev M.F. The Rothschild brother’s contribution to Baku’s oil industry – “Oil-Industry History” (USA), 2012, v. 13, no. 1, pp. 225-236.

Mir-Babayev M.F. Russian Oil Business and the Rothschilds – “Oil Gas Chemistry”, M., 2002, № 4, pp. 44-47.

“Kaspy” (Caspian) newspaper, 1888, # 155.

Polonsky L.A. Bank’s house of Rothschild brothers in Baku. – Baku, Publishing house Azerneshr, 1998.

“Mining Magazine” (Gorny Journal) newspaper, 1887, v. 1, p.18.

Mir-Babayev M.F. Concise history of Azerbaijani oil. The second book – Baku, Publishing house SOCAR, 2013.

Mir-Yusif Mir-Babayev. The Construction of Unique Baku-Batum Pipeline in the Trans-Caucasus. Engineering and Applied Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 5, 2018, pp. 129-133. doi: 10.11648/j.eas.20180305.12

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